Revolution #543, May 14, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

 

Organizing Thousands into the Movement FOR Revolution—Key Points and Principles

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The movement for revolution is going everywhere with HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for revolution, and recruiting people into this revolution. In doing this, and along with leading people politically to carry out Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—and carrying out the kind of ideological struggle that is critically needed, in more immediate terms at any given point as well as in an overall and fundamental sense (and along with, yes, digging into and training people in theory and, in particular, method), there is also the need to directly make the call to people (masses, including particularly basic youth) to step forward and become leaders themselves—leaders for this revolution—out among the masses like themselves, and to give them not only overall political and ideological grounding but also the practical guidance and assistance they need to really step forward to do this (which could even include very basic guidelines, spelled out concretely, on how to put things forward and how to respond to things we can anticipate will come up from others, and could also involve, at least at times and particularly when they are first stepping out, combining with them someone more experienced who would actually assist them, and help them sum up, without, however, “taking over from them”).

The point is that, in addition to—and, in an overall sense, on the basis of—the political and ideological (including theoretical) leadership, orientation, and grounding we need to be providing in an ongoing way to people who should be coming forward into the ranks of the revolution, we also need, from the start (as the first steps into the Ohio,1 so to speak), to give them things to do, tasks to carry out, that are meaningful and will make a real difference—concrete ways they can take part in and bring forward others into the movement for revolution, and into the Revolution Clubs, and develop as leaders for this revolution themselves, even as they continue to learn more and move forward.

In terms of ideological struggle, along with really getting into (going after) such things as nationalism and religion, in a good way—firmly and, as necessary, sharply but once again with “an arm around the shoulder” in the case of anyone who is actually not, or actually not acting like, a pig—we also need to take on the individualism that has very powerful pulls among the masses of people, in various forms, including basic youth and other basic masses. For whom and for what—for self, or for the masses of oppressed, here and all over the world, for humanity? That is a fundamental dividing line, and has everything to do with whether the masses of people, in this generation and for generations to come, will continue to suffer terribly the chains of oppression and degradation or will finally be able to break through and emancipate themselves, emancipate all of humanity. In fact, while things such as nationalism and being mired in religion have real-life effect in and of themselves, misdirecting and mentally enslaving masses of people, at the same time in a real sense individualism is a concentration of those and other ideological chains and oppressive pulls on the masses.

It is also important to emphasize that, in order for people, in particular basic youth and other basic masses, to break out of the encirclement, ideologically as well as politically-practically, and to get a real sense of the possibility of revolution, and what the character and aims of that revolution are and must be, it is necessary and crucial for them to have (to be continually brought, in a number of compelling ways) a real sense of the larger picture, in the country and the world as a whole, and how they fit into—and, by being part of the revolution, can significantly affect—that larger situation.


1. The “Ohio” refers to the Ohio State marching band’s practice of marching in such a way as to spell out “OHIO” when viewed from above; in this process, band members who begin the first O, then move through the other letters of the word until they are at the last “O”. The point is that there is an analogous process involved in building any kind of progressive or revolutionary movement, in which people “move through” various levels of understanding and commitment, though this is not (“in the real world”) quite so linear and in lockstep as the Ohio State marching band!  [back]

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

 

Key Points to Hit—and Hit HARD—When We Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The movement for revolution is going everywhere with HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for revolution, and recruiting people into this revolution. This is urgent. In the face of the horrors of the fascist Trump/Pence regime and the need to drive it out through mass nonviolent action... in the face of a situation of tremendous suffering here and around the world in which the forces for revolution are still hemmed in... we urgently need to BREAK OUT and start to grow by leaps and bounds.

The keys to this are agitation all over and all the time, and organization. This article focuses on the agitation part of it. For more on organization, go here.

What is agitation? The dictionaries define it as to arouse public opinion to take some action. Bob Avakian describes the importance of revolutionary agitation that exposes contradictions drawn from real life, from reality. In an article, “Putting Forward Our Line—In a Bold, Moving, Compelling Way,” after BA vividly exposes a police murder of a Black man, he says:

How do we do the most hard-hitting, penetrating exposure around things like this, really bringing this alive? Not just cursing the enemy as they deserve to be cursed, but how do we do it so as to really bring these things alive, so that masses of people, even those who don’t know that this goes on every day, are really moved by this—like we really reach inside them and make them really feel this, from the “inside out,” so to speak—really be “grabbed on the inside” and moved by the outrage that’s been committed here and how this connects up with and has something essential to do with the very nature of this system. Because unfortunately, in a certain sense, life is continually providing us with hundreds and thousands of these occasions, these outrages, and our agitation about them is one very important part of arousing the masses to struggle around these things as well as exposing the system and contributing to the overall process of moving people to the position where they’re willing to put everything on the line to bring this system down because they understand that these things are integral and indispensable features of this whole system—that this system cannot do without these things and needs to do these things, and why it needs to do them.

You can agitate as part of a group going out with posters and pamphlets and flyers in busy areas... or you can agitate one-on-one, handing out materials or just getting into it with people in your daily life. This agitation digs into the contradiction that the world is a horror, but it doesn’t have to be that way; that those who are listening to it will have to change their lives and throw in with this revolution, to actually end these horrors.

There are five key points to keep in mind and bring out: why we need a revolution; what a revolution really IS; what needs to be done right now to build that revolution; the strengths of the revolution and, in particular, the leadership of Bob Avakian—“BA”; and the challenge to people that THEY must join the revolution.

Sometimes you’ll focus on one, sometimes on all five. The more you do this, and the more you talk with others about how you’re doing, the better you’ll get at reaching inside of people with this message—cutting through the static they’re caught up in and touching their highest aspirations for a different world. What you have below is not a script, but guidelines.

Conclusion: Your life is going to be about something—or it is going to be about nothing, and there is nothing more important your life can be about than joining this revolution. If you want a world where never again is a Black person beaten down or murdered by the police, where never again does a child have to dig their parent’s body out of the rubble left by a U.S. bomb, where never again does any woman anywhere on this planet have to fear being beaten or raped, where never again are families torn apart and sent thousands of miles across borders as refugees desperate and alone, and where the planet is cared for and preserved for future generations, then YOU need to join the revolution today. There is a role for you. There is leadership to train you. There is a whole new world to make real.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

 

Helping New People Get Started

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As the article “Organizing Thousands into the Movement FOR Revolution—Key Points and Principles” makes clear, on the basis of the ideological and political work that we do with people, and as part of bringing them forward as leaders of this revolution, we need to give people meaningful things to do and ways to contribute, and we need to work closely with them.

It’s very important in giving assignments that we link this back with them into HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW) and that we try to go with them to do these assignments. We should find out where people live or work or hang, what networks they are connected to, and then strategize with them where to go and what to do.

Everything we do—whether it’s building for a film showing by getting up posters and getting people to hand out cards; posting the Points of Attention for the Revolution in an area; handing out HOW WE CAN WIN or other Party literature; making a presentation at a meeting; leading people to fight the power around some major political issue, etc.—is about preparing the terrain, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance of winning. The work we do right now is aimed to get to a revolutionary situation, as described in HWCW, where a revolution could actually be made.

People need to know that and see how the work they are taking up concretely fits into and leads to that. But people who are just coming around and who we are assigning things to do also need basic help on how to present themselves and how to handle what they’ll encounter.

We should orient people with something like the following:

When you take out the material from the revolution, you should tell people that you’re spreading the word about and organizing people into a movement to make a REAL revolution. Agitate with them about the abuses of this system. Let them know that “we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution” to overthrow this system and put an end to the oppression and misery it brings down on people everywhere.

Then tell them how what you are giving them relates to that. If you are giving them a poster or flyer for the film of Bob Avakian’s speech, say that we want them to come and see the film of Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, where he lays out the real deal with this fascist Trump/Pence regime—where it comes from, how deep a threat it is to the people of the world, and what we have to do about this. If you’re giving them the Points of Attention to distribute or post up, let them know that we are spreading the Points of Attention for the Revolution to make the morality of the revolution “the ‘authority’ that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about ‘reconciliation’ with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution.” Let people read what you’re passing out or posting up, or read it with them, and talk with them. Try to challenge them to go deeper and get more into this, as you were challenged when people talked with you. Ask for their ideas on where we can take this and how they can help, and then follow up with them.

You’ll run into a lot of questions—and that’s good. Here are some typical ones, and ideas on how to handle them:

“Who is Bob Avakian?” In short, he’s the most radical revolutionary on the planet, the architect of a whole new communism, and the leader of the revolution. The best way for people to understand this is with the Bob Avakian (BA)—Official Biography, so have plenty of those to give to people. But you should be able to say in a few words that the people have never had a leader like this, with a deep scientific understanding of this whole society and how to transform it and a deep connection with the masses of people, and what a great thing it is that this is who’s leading the struggle right now. At the same time—and naturally enough—BA is controversial. So you should read “BA: A Contended Question” and have a copy of that with you to understand some of what you’ll run into.

People may raise that, “You can’t beat them, they’re too strong.” Take them to HOW WE CAN WIN: How We Can Really Make Revolution: “To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions.” Let them know that we’re not talking about right now—we know that would be crazy—but about “preparing the political terrain, the masses, and the vanguard itself for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance of winning.” Show them the part in HWCW about a revolutionary situation and read this with them, and let them know that one big thing we are doing right now is trying to get the thousands who will lead those millions when the time is right. As HWCW says, Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.

You could also challenge them: make the point that unless you’ve gone through the work that the RCP has done, and it’s made available to the people in this very pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN, then you’re really not qualified to speak on whether or not the system is too strong to be defeated. Go through it first, and then we can go talk to someone from the Party who’s studied this.

“People out here won’t do anything.” Yes, most people right now are either sleepwalking or have their heads up their asses; and most people don’t know shit in any case, or the shit they think they know is wrong. But like BA says in BAsics, “What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think.” (4:11) The fact is, we don’t need “most people” right now—we need the people who hate what this system does to people here and all over the world and want to do something about it to get organized into a core, and if that’s you, then we have a plan for revolution and a new society, and a leader who’s brought that forward that you need to know about, get into, and act on. Again, we are preparing for a revolutionary situation—you can’t read that paragraph enough to people—and we are doing what part 2 of HWCW says to do that, and what we’re doing right now out here is part of that.

“You guys don’t believe in God.” Read from BAsics 4:1: “Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.” Communists confront reality as it actually is, and apply science to understand it. We don’t believe in gods or supernatural beings, but we work and unite with people who do. So you need to be working with us, while we talk about and struggle out our differences. You could also show them the clip from the dialogue between BA and Cornel West, where BA talks about the “what ifs”—how the world really COULD be different—and then that you need science to get there.

“The RCP is a cult.” Tell people that that’s just a word used to scare people out of seriously checking out the revolution. You can read what the Party has to say and meet the people who work with it and see for yourself how stupid and slanderous that accusation is. But more than that, we should confront people who run this with the reality: again, the fact is that nobody besides BA has done anything close to breaking through on why have the revolutions of the past been defeated and how we can do better, on what would be the actual strategy, on how to do we scientifically understand the world and lead others to understand it, on what the new society should look like and how it should function to get all the way to emancipation. BA’s brought forward a whole new framework of revolution, not just for the U.S. but for the whole world. So yeah, we definitely follow him, and learn from him, and revere him. What’s wrong with that?

And what’s their analysis of the problems we face? What’s their strategy for revolution? Or do they think that we can solve the problems without a revolution? What’s their replacement for this system? If they’re so concerned about “following leaders,” how do they handle the real contradictions between the fact that humanity needs leaders right now, people who have a deeper understanding and can apply and transmit that understanding to others, but that leaders can “go bad”? We should be telling people not to let anyone scare them off from the only force which has a serious plan to deal with this madness and the leader of that force.

“I see what you’re saying, but I gotta take care of me first.” Taking care of you first just means that everyone, here and around the world, stays in the same dog-eat-dog, getting ground down. Someone has got to stand up and say, “I’m going to fight for the emancipation of the masses of humanity,” and that has to be you.

“Yeah, but BA is white (or BA is a man, or BA is an Anglo, etc.).” Ask people, “Look, how badly do you want the masses of humanity to get free? BA is the leader who happens to have summed up the most important lessons and contributions from all the revolutions and struggles of the past, taken those further, showed where they were wrong and how to more correctly understand things and do better; he’s deeply analyzed society and all the oppressive relations, and developed a Constitution that people could use to move toward eliminating ALL oppression and exploitation; he’s done all this and never lost his deep feeling for and deep connections with the masses of people, and never stopped leading the revolutionary struggle in the U.S. It’s just a matter of fact that there’s never been a leader like him. And you’re not gonna follow him, or even seriously check him out, because why? What’s your criterion for leadership? What do you think the struggle needs to aim for?”

“Why do we not initiate violence during this period when we are carrying out the ‘three prepares’—why do we not just ‘get it on,’ and try to bring down this system, right now?” Because we are serious about revolution, and we are proceeding according to a strategic approach to bringing about an actual revolution, working to hasten and prepare for the time when a revolutionary situation has been brought into being—when there is a deep revolutionary crisis throughout society and among the powers that be, and there is a revolutionary people in the millions and millions—and we do not intend to make it easier for the vicious ruling class of this system, and its violent machinery of oppression and repression, to crush us and the movement for revolution we are building, before it is time to go for the whole thing, with a real chance of winning.

“Aren’t Ferguson and Baltimore examples of the people initiating violence?” NO. These are examples of the people, masses of people, rising up in response to violence initiated and perpetrated against them by the police and the system that the police enforce.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Stop the Massacre of Palestinians

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

As we post on the morning of May 14, dozens of Palestinians are already dead, over a thousand injured, as one of the world’s most high-tech death machines, the Israeli army, blasts away at Palestinians “armed” with kites and flags.

All this bloodshed is not only supported by the rulers of the United States, it has been provoked and perpetrated by their never-ending support for their Israeli cohorts and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem­, a move central to the agenda of the lunatic, end-times Armageddon-driven Christian fascists at the core of the Trump/Pence regime.

The whole made-in-hell-three-way marriage of Christian fascists, rabid Zionists, and “America First” global bullying is a product of and serves an empire, built on slavery, genocide, vicious global exploitation and mass murder, torture, and countless unjust wars. There is a way to wrench something excruciatingly needed for humanity right now—it is organizing for, and hastening the moment when we can overthrow the system behind this. And in that light, right now building mass non-violent resistance aimed at driving out this fascist regime.

Wherever you are, now, get outside, join or call protests or get out on your campus or street corner, call this out for what it is, and organize people into the revolution.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Palestinian “Great March of Return” to Culminate May 15

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On May 11, courageous Palestinian youths and other protesters from the ghetto that is the Gaza Strip descended on the border fence that separates it from Israel. Israeli troops responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, and sharpshooters opened fire, as they have every week since the protests began on March 30—deliberately targeting largely unarmed, nonviolent protesters to kill and maim. To date, 49 Palestinians have been murdered and more than 8,500 wounded. This includes Jamal Afanah, a 15-year-old boy, who died after being shot at last Friday’s protest.

This was the seventh consecutive Friday of demonstrations that are part of “Great March of Return” protests that will culminate with mass protests on May 15—the 70th anniversary of what is called the Palestinian “catastrophe,” the Nakba. This was when 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their villages and towns in 1948 by Zionist militias in a war of ethnic cleansing to create the state of Israel. Protesters are demanding the right to return to their homes and that Israel lift its life-crushing blockade of Gaza.

This is a very volatile situation. On the one hand, there is the growing determination of the Palestinian people to fight for their rights and humanity, being expressed by the thousands demonstrating. On the other hand, in the face of this, the Israeli government has been doubling down, killing protesters week after week.

And now, the gangsters at the helm of the fascist Trump/Pence regime have intentionally chosen Monday, May 14 for their celebration of the transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This move is a big, genocidal “fuck you” to the Palestinian people who have long and rightfully claimed Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. This move by the U.S. is another step and a further escalation of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

Thousands of Palestinians throughout the occupied territories are now expected to take to the streets on both May 14 and 15. Stay tuned to revcom.us for continued reporting as the situation develops.

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Trump Shreds Iran Nuclear Deal, Threatening Millions and Another War in the Middle East

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Last week, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 deal it and other world powers negotiated with Iran to greatly restrict its nuclear enrichment program. Iran has never had nuclear weapons and was abiding by the deal. But no matter. Telling one big lie after another, Trump tore the agreement up anyway. This was the world’s biggest nuclear-armed imperialist power and greatest mass murderer on the face of the earth telling a small-time reactionary regime—and the whole world: dance to America’s tune, or else face aggression, even war!

The global gangster-exploiters who run the U.S., along with their thug Israel, couldn’t wait to begin further terrorizing, threatening and rampaging through the Middle East. The very next day after Trump’s announcement, Israel launched dozens of military strikes against Iranian forces in Syria.

But you who are reading this have NO interests in this marauding, this trampling on millions, this waging war against the peoples in the Middle East. You who are reading this have no interests in the way your vampire rulers are playing with the very fate of the planet. NO! The most fundamental interest you have—and the duty we all have—is to unite with the masses there and around the world in a movement for revolution, everywhere. And right now, we must expose this drive toward war, build opposition to it, and mobilize people to drive out the fascists who are now attempting to clamp down further in the U.S., and unleash “fire and fury” around the world.

More Lies from the Biggest Shithole in the World—Trump’s Mouth

Trump claims he’s ripping up the agreement because it doesn’t stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. He deceitfully implies that Iran is already a nuclear weapons threat or soon will be. But while Iran has zero nuclear weapons, the demented bully Trump—who has repeatedly asked since the U.S. has nukes, “Why can’t we use them?”—is the one with his trigger finger on 4,000 nuclear weapons! Iran has sharply scaled back its non-military nuclear development (including for nuclear power) and has been abiding by the agreement, while the U.S. is spending billions to make its weapons of mass destruction even more horrific.

Trump denounces Iran for sponsoring terror, exporting weapons, and for “sinister” activities in the Middle East. Iran’s Islamic Republic is an oppressive theocratic regime, which is backing reactionary regimes and forces that have done terrible things to people in the region.

But who’s the world’s number one sponsor of state terror and torture? The world’s biggest exporter of weapons of death and destruction? The world’s most “sinister” power, responsible for the most carnage—from the thousands being shot down right now by Israel for protesting in Gaza, to the millions, yes millions, being starved or threatened by bombs and disease by the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen? And who has been waging war across the Middle East and Central Asia for over 16 years, murdering over a million people and destroying the lives of countless more? Just like the slobbering, shouting morons who parade around with the flag say, “USA! USA! USA!”

Trump turned truth inside out, portraying the U.S. as the victim: “America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction...” Get real! It’s his regime and U.S. imperialism that has actually held the whole world nuclear hostage for decades, which are now ramping up threats against Iran’s cities and millions of its people. Why? Not to liberate anyone, but to maintain their imperialist death grip on the Middle East and world.

All this is totally sick, Hitlerian shit. And if people can’t see, and feel, the outrageousness and intolerability of this made-in-USA global thuggery, they need to get their heads out of their asses and wake up... and YOU need to help make that happen.

(See also, “Lies from the Same Lying Liars Who Sold the Invasion of Iraq,” reposted from RefuseFascism.org)

And the Democrats? Petty Complaints in Order to Better Bully the World

What do the Democrats, the so-called “alternative” to Trump, have to say about these threats of massive crimes against humanity? Petty criticisms, basically that the nuclear deal was helping the U.S. maintain its dominance. That it’s better to posse up with other imperialist gangsters—aka “allies”—against Iran. Meanwhile, the Democrats make perfectly clear that if war comes, they’ll rally around Trump and the red, white, and blue. Why? Because they’re on the “same team,” as Obama said about Trump. They’re fully with the Trump/Pence regime on the fundamental need for the U.S. to bully and dominate the world. Their only issue: how to carry out their savagery.

The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Trump’s announcement on the Iran nuclear deal was like throwing gasoline onto a building that was already burning. After Israel launched missile attacks on Iranian forces in Syria, Iran has reportedly fired back on Israeli positions. There are reports that Israel is attempting to bait Iran into an all-out war.

Trump has now surrounded himself with extreme, anti-Iran war hawks who make mass murderers like Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis look like moderates. As a congressman, Mike Pompeo, Trump’s new secretary of state, denounced the Iran nuclear deal and advocated 2,000 airstrikes against Iran instead. New national security adviser John Bolton, reportedly now Trump’s closest adviser, has previously called for preemptive strikes on Iran and “regime change”—in other words overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran. On CNN this Sunday, Bolton refused to back away from any of this.

Amid reports that the U.S. rulers are gambling they can “break” Iran’s theocratic regime, Trump has announced he’s imposing the harshest-ever sanctions on Iran—sanctions which will immediately cause great suffering for millions of Iranians.  Trump has also provocatively warned Iran not to resume its nuclear enrichment program (even for non-military purposes), even though it’s the U.S. that’s broken the treaty. At a recent meeting with French President Macron, Trump promised to make Iran “pay a price like few countries have ever paid” if its rulers “threaten” the U.S. (i.e., reject its demands).

These are among the growing signs that the U.S. (and Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have been chomping at the bit to attack Iran) are heading toward a confrontation or war with Iran, either of which could spiral into a war that could escalate unpredictably across the region. This could lead to even greater death and destruction than the staggering toll America and its butcher allies have already inflicted on the Middle East for over 16 years.

All this underscores the acute danger to the lives of millions at this moment, and the great urgency of driving the Trump/Pence fascist regime from power through sustained, massive, nonviolent political protest before it can carry out its vile and extraordinarily violent plans.

Trump’s latest moves again show that war, mass slaughter, and plunder are baked into the capitalist-imperialist system, and that these horrors will go on and on and on until this system is overthrown through revolution. Right now, it’s extremely urgent to be working to: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win.

 

Fuck you for your service
Post to social media

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

To All the Sick Racist Shitheads Calling Pigs on Black People Just for Drawing a Breath:
Back the Fuck Up! (And Wake the Fuck Up!).

To All Who Are Disgusted and Outraged:
“Get With The Actual Revolution That Could Fully and Finally Put an End to This Shit!”

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Where on earth is it an offense, IF you happen to be Black, Brown or a person of color—punishable by humiliation, degradation, and possibly arrest, beating, choking, maybe even death—not to wave at white strangers…to appear “odd”….to sit down in a diner at a table that hasn’t been cleared…to take a nap in a dormitory common room…to sit in a coffee shop and try to use the restroom without ordering anything?

America, that’s where—not decades or centuries ago, but right here and right now. There’s an ugly outbreak sweeping America – of white people siccing the pigs on Black, Brown and Native people who are just living life. These sick, racist fucks are putting people of color in danger of arrest, brutalization, even death.    

Here’s just some of the shit that’s gone down in recent weeks:

May 9, 7 police cars and a helicopter swarmed three Black filmmakers in Rialto, California as they left an Airbnb rental.  Why?  Because some white person thought they hadn’t waved back to her. 

May 7, a Black woman graduate student at Yale University was hassled by four cops for napping in her own dormitory common room...because some white woman thought she didn’t “belong” there.

May 5, a Black youth, in a Waffle House with his younger sister still in her prom dress, was choked and thrown to the ground by a North Carolina cop…because they sat at a table that hadn’t been cleaned off and then complained when Waffle House refused to serve them.

May 2, two Native American brothers were pulled out of a campus tour for prospective students by Colorado State University police…because a white person called police when she decided their behavior was “odd.”  

April 12, two Black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia while they waited for a business associate…because the manager said they hadn’t ordered anything yet.

White people are now being unleashed to feel entitled to take it upon themselves—for any reason or no reason at all—to call out the dogs of “law and order” to police and erase Black, Latino and Native peoples from public spaces and public life. Being Black, Brown or some color other than white now means that doing the most ordinary, everyday things can get you humiliated…degraded… terrorized…cuffed up…choked out…beaten…or even killed.

These incidents are a screaming siren and flashing red light indicating great and growing danger. Everyone needs to stand up against it.  Silence or “neutrality” is complicity. You either go along with this shit, or you stand up to it, as a woman in an Oakland, California park did recently when she forced someone who had called police on a Black family having a barbecue to back the fuck off.

What Kind of Putrid System Trains People to Do This Shit?

What kind of system emboldens white people to feel they have the right—and the duty!—to summon mad-dog cops who have proven over and over and over that they will—on sight—shoot and kill Black people and Latino and Native people when they arrive on a reported “crime scene”… white people who want to keep oppressed people in “their place” or out of spaces they feel should be reserved for white people?

This society trains all too many whites to be ignorant, arrogant and racist. Black people are dehumanized through the so-called “news media” and its daily portrayal of Black youth as criminals. A seemingly endless barrage of cop shows and movies portray Black youths as criminals. A stupefying system of MIS-education that lies about the history and current reality of oppression at the core of this country.

And, yes, this systematic dehumanization is done by the political leaders of this country, Democrat as well as Republican. Some do it directly, like Ronald Reagan going to Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were lynched, to talk about “states’ rights.” Some use coded words and symbols, like Bill Clinton posing next to a chain gang of Black prisoners, and making a point of executing a mentally ill Black man as he campaigned for president; or Barack Obama preaching to Black youth that “brothers should pull up their pants” so they could “make it” in society.

Now the white supremacist Trump and his fascist regime are openly and unashamedly spewing poisonous racist bile against Black people, Mexicans, Muslims, and Native Americans. Trump’s words and actions are helping instigate and unleash this wave of racist snitch/vigilantes running amok. All too many whites are willingly being mobilized to enforce social relations of oppression and white supremacy.

Let’s call it like it is—these people are vicious and sick-minded shits. Again, by calling the cops they are literally endangering the lives of the Black, Latino, Native American, Muslim or Asian people. It must be opposed and STOPPED.

White Supremacy: America’s Mother’s Milk from Day One

From day one, white supremacy—slavery, genocide, rape, and theft - was the mother’s milk of this country. The U.S. grew strong on it; white supremacy is hard wired into every aspect of U.S. society. Today the system wants to supercharge it once again. This is a 21st-century version of the requirement that slaves show a pass whenever a white person demanded it if they were off the plantation; or the expectation—enforced by law and brutality—that Black people had to step out of the way of white people during Jim Crow days.

You think this is exaggeration, blown out of proportion? Think again.

Think of the posses of heavily armed “slave patrols” that prowled woods and swamps, seeking and capturing Black people, shackling and whipping those who survived, before returning them to their legal owners—backed up by the force of Constitutional law at every step. Think of the mobs of whites who lynched thousands of Mexicans, mainly but not only in border states. Think of the bands of white “homesteaders” who in their push westward made sport of attacking and scalping Native Americans, and whose violence paved the way for literally genocidal campaigns by the U.S. military. And think of how this genocide was made into the child’s game of “cowboys and Indians.” Think of the lynchings of Black men and women publicly announced in newspapers, and celebrated with postcards of the mutilated, hanging corpses, well into the 20th century. Think of white people scrambling to buy pieces of the mangled flesh of lynched Black people as “souvenirs.”

All that, and more, is America. Not just in the South, but East, West, and North as well—vicious racism carried out not just by the KKK and the police forces, but by millions and millions of ordinary white people.

And now, as Trump gives open backing to torch-carrying mobs of white supremacists, calling them “fine people,” there is a surge of white people who think it is their right and responsibility to call out the modern-day lynch mob of the police if they encounter a Black person who they just don’t like the looks of. Trump, Pence, and their cabal intend to consolidate fascism and impose it on all of society.

Fight Back, and Fight to Win

But the savage and intensifying oppression, the terror and isolation inflicted on Black and other people of color, indicates a potential strategic weakness of the system. The oppressor fears the oppressed; fears that the oppressed will rise up and begin to realize their potential power. Fears that in doing so the oppressed will spark and inspire millions of others to rise up—all the others who catch hell every day, and all those who hate what is done to oppressed people and find it intolerable. 

There are also answers for how to get rid of this unbearable shit, how to create a NEW SOCIETY on a different foundation. There is the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, which talks about how from day one the new state power and the laws would back up the people in eradicating all oppressive relations and the oppressive ideas behind them. 

To get to that new society we need to overthrow the current system of capitalism imperialism through revolution. The pamphlet How We Can WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution from the Revolutionary Communist Party’s Central Committee explains what we need to know to make this revolution.

Right now, we—people of all nationalities—need to be fighting back against the racist onslaught, as part of contributing to making that revolution we need. We need to do it with the orientation described in that pamphlet:

We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system. 

White peoplestop calling the fucking cops on Black, Brown and Native American people!

Stop enforcing white supremacy; be part of opposing and overturning white supremacy!

People of all nationalities and color who are rightfully disgusted by this shit: Get with the actual revolution that could fully and finally put an end to it.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/gina-torture-monger-will-mean-more-open-torture-from-america-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Probable Installation of Torture-Monger Gina Haspel as Head of CIA Will Mean More Open Torture From Ameri卐a

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Donald Trump—who brags gleefully that “torture works,” wants to “go much stronger than waterboarding,” and advocates murdering the families of “terrorists”—has nominated Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Haspel is a long-time CIA operative steeped in “black ops,” who in 2002 ran a secret CIA torture chamber in Thailand. It is expected that she will be confirmed.

This is both a damning revelation about what America really is all about and a clear signal of a coming quantum leap in the horrors this country unleashes on the world... if people do not act to prevent it.

The Reality of CIA Torture

Imagine. You are wounded on the field of battle against U.S. forces. Or maybe you were involved in some political activity America opposes... or your husband was. Or someone, seeking the cash bounties America offered for “terrorists,” said you were.

You are seized—you have fallen into the hands of America’s Gestapo, the CIA. You are gripped by terror. You try to answer their questions, but they don’t believe you or think you know more.

You are whisked away, flown to one of the “black sites” the CIA set up around the world after 9/11, your location unknown to you or your loved ones. You are led into a bare, windowless cell by masked and silent black-garbed guards. You are deprived of sleep, kept in complete isolation for weeks or months. You are exhausted, alone against all-powerful foes. Your wounds have not healed or you are pregnant? These are vulnerabilities for your captors to exploit.

Then the “interrogation” begins. You are slammed face first into a wall, punched, slapped, screamed at. You are strapped to a gurney, inclined backwards so your head is lower than your body. A rag is placed over your mouth and nose and water poured onto it. You try not to breathe, but your body demands it and so you suck the water into your lungs. Now you are drowning. Seconds tick by. You try to shake free but you are tightly restrained. You gasp and choke, you throw up, the vomit flowing back into your lungs.

They revive you, and ask you more questions. “I don’t know, I don’t know”... it doesn’t matter. Again the rag, again the drowning, twice, three times, twenty times. Your body convulses, you beg for mercy, you pass out, but it continues, for days, weeks. Even when your captors realize that it is “highly likely” that you do not know anything, the torture continues.1

This is what was done at CIA “black sites,” including the one run by Gina Haspel, to hundreds of people.

This was not “an aberration.” As we will get into below, such crimes are and have been an integral part of “the arsenal of democracy,” the means by which the capitalist rulers of this sick system subdue the oppressed within their own borders and by which they have forged a worldwide empire. An empire in which they have conducted savage exploitation of land, resources and people, and from which they have extracted unimaginable wealth and power. And now Trump is taking this to a new and more horrific level, no longer keeping torture “on the down low,” but openly trumpeting America’s intention to impose barbaric suffering on anyone who dares to oppose them, whether it be rival gangsters and reactionaries, or courageous fighters from among the oppressed.

People—you—have to confront this irredeemable “repeat-offender” criminal system and join in the movement for revolution to overthrow it at the soonest possible time. And right now, everyone with a conscience needs to come together, in our thousands and then millions to drive out this regime, before it can impose further unspeakable horrors.

Gina Haspel: A Torture Queen for a Torture Agency

Gina Haspel commanded the first of the secret prisons known as “black sites” that the U.S. set up around the world after 9/11, where the CIA conducted torture. The one she was in charge of was at a U.S. Air Force Base in Thailand and was called Detention Site Green. This is who is now slated to head the entire CIA, a world-wide empire of torture, coups and terror with 20,000 employees.

And who better than Haspel! Even some of the torturers at the black sites were sickened by what they were doing and objected to higher ups—though when ordered to continue, almost all did. But Haspel had no such qualms; she rose through the ranks on the basis of this “work,” and when these crimes started to leak out and there was international outrage, Haspel played a key role in covering it up, ordering the destruction of 87 videotapes of these “sessions,” including some that may have shown her direct participation. (Yes, these sadists videotaped their atrocities, like the U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq who posed smiling for pictures as prisoners were being tortured or terrorized by vicious dogs.)

And she has never relented or apologized. In hours of testimony at her confirmation hearing, Haspel was described by the New York Times as “by turns confrontational and evasive.” She hedged, hemmed and hawed, but refused to declare what was done was immoral, or illegal, or for that matter, “ineffective.” And she repeatedly expressed pride in her own service and that of other torturers who did their “duty” on what she calls “the front lines,” bragging that “I stepped up”!

Haspel hid behind the defense that the program was deemed “lawful” by top White House legal experts. This is the infamous defense of Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials—“I was only following orders.” It didn’t fly for the defeated Germans being tried by the victorious U.S.; dozens were sentenced to death or long prison terms. But if you torture in the service of the U.S. that’s another story. Being an American torturer not only doesn’t get you put in prison or executed for crimes against humanity, it gets you promoted to head the CIA.

Torture: As American as Apple Pie

The U.S. has a centuries-long history of torture overseas, going back to the conquest of the Philippines in the 19th century, when “suspects” were lowered head-first into wells. During the Vietnam War, prisoners were kept in tiny “tiger cages” for months so that they could no longer walk when released. “Interrogations” were often conducted by taking prisoners up in a helicopter, asking one a question and then hurling him to his death if he didn’t answer. The U.S. not only backed notorious Latin American dictators/torturers like Pinochet (Chile), Duvalier (Haiti), and Trujillo (the Dominican Republic), it established the “School of the Americas” to train officers of these countries in torture techniques. Medieval and modern instruments of torture were provided to the Shah of Iran after he rose to power in a CIA coup in 1953.

And we don’t have to look abroad. The terrorizing and torture of enslaved and free Black people, and of Mexicanos and Native Americans, is at the very foundation of America. In modern times, Haitian-American Abner Louima was sodomized with a toilet plunger by six New York cops in 1997 as he screamed in agony in the bathroom of a busy police precinct. Chicago police commander Jon Burge maintained his own “black site” for years, torturing “suspects” with electricity, suffocation and other methods. In U.S. prisons, tens of thousands of inmates spend months, years, or even decades in solitary confinement. Human rights experts deem anything over two weeks as torture.

All this sheds light on why Haspel’s nomination has wide support in the ruling class, not only among Republicans but some Democrats too, and especially among former top officials of the “intelligence community” (under both the Obama and Bush administrations), who all too many progressives are hoping will save us from Trump.

Openly fascist Republicans revel in torture—their vision involves not only escalating its scale and scope, but also openly waving this in front of their enemies to make clear that resistance to the American empire is not only futile, but will bring down such suffering on them, their loved ones, and their people that it is better to just surrender and get it over with. Some other ruling class forces have reservations about whether torture actually “works” in the interests of the U.S. empire—they fear it will undercut U.S. influence and spark more intense resistance.

But both sides talk glowingly about “the dedicated men and women of the CIA” and “pride” in this key agency that has committed untold crimes around the world and stands ready to carry out any atrocity in the service of the U.S. capitalist-imperialist system. This is another illustration of why these people will never lead anything against Trump that will go anywhere good from the standpoint of the interests of humanity.

It is time and past time for everyone who hates and opposes these crimes to face up to our responsibility to put a STOP to this oppressive system and the cruelty on which it rests and thrives.

 

1. This description is mainly drawn from a report of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee. [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/terror-and-torture-of-immigrant-children-now-official-us-policy-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Terror and Torture of Immigrant Children Now Official U.S. Policy

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Oozing with the white-supremacist self-righteousness he’s become known for, Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Monday, May 7 that tearing every immigrant child away from their undocumented parents upon capture after crossing the border is now U.S. government policy. This makes it absolutely clear: the terrorizing, torturing, and permanently harming immigrant children and their parents is now a cornerstone of Amerikkkan policy toward immigrants and refugees at the Southwest border.

Sessions justified this crime against humanity by branding as “smugglers” undocumented immigrant parents—including some political asylum seekers—who come into the U.S. with children searching for a better life: “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.” The reality—despite the lies spewed by Sessions, Trump, and the rest of the fascist cabal—is that there is nothing illegal about people, who are fleeing situations endangering their lives, to cross borders in search of asylum.

Sessions also announced that the Justice Dept. will prosecute as many captured border crossers as possible—“until we get to 100 percent.” This means that all border crossers, including those seeking asylum, now face up to 6 months in prison if caught. He declared that he has “sent 35 prosecutors to the Southwest and moved 18 immigration judges to the border” to carry out this threat.

Continuing with the lies, Sessions claimed, “Today we’re here to send a message to the world that we are not going to let the country be overwhelmed. People are not going to caravan or otherwise stampede our border.” The U.S. is being “overwhelmed” by people who are on a “stampede” across the border? This is complete bullshit—and these fascists know it. The latest statistics announced just 5 months ago indicate that arrests of people trying to cross without documents into the U.S. from Mexico are at their lowest levels since 1971. But “stampede” and “overwhelmed” fit the Trump/Pence regime’s aim of fanning xenophobic (anti-foreigner) poison to justify ramping up fascist anti-immigrant measures and militarization of the border.

The few hundred immigrant refugees who recently reached the U.S. border as part of the Caravan that Sessions slandered are families fleeing U.S.-created violence, poverty and imminent danger in Central America. Nearly 80% of the refugees at the start of the Caravan were Hondurans, escaping the upheavals that followed yet another fraudulent “election” supported by the U.S. to put in a pro-American puppet. To threaten refugees with arrest, imprisonment, and separation of families is itself a violation of both U.S. and international law. But to this regime, neither truth nor the law are going to get in the way of their fascist anti-immigrant program.

Sessions had this outrageous explanation for why so many people are risking their lives on a journey seeking asylum: “We also have dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process.” This is another element of the new fascist norms—declaring that those who try to use the law to oppose the criminal actions of this fascist regime will be considered enemies of the state.

What fucking sewer did this American Nazi and his cohorts crawl out of?

It is the crimes of U.S. imperialism and their continuing consequences that have made the countries of the Northern Triangle—Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala—unlivable for tens of millions of people. Decades and decades of direct and indirect U.S. military violence and genocidal killing; the training, arming, and directing of death squads; the political repression and murder of political forces representing any challenge to the brutal domination and exploitation by U.S. imperialism—all this and more is what is driving people to risk the dangers and hardships of the 2,000-mile journey to the U.S. border.1

“America number 1” has long been the worldview of those who rule this country—an outlook in the service of their capitalist-imperialist system. And now a fascist regime has come to power to take this to new extreme levels, working to consolidate a rule of unapologetic white supremacy and male supremacy, open hatred for immigrants, and hyper-aggressive imperialist gangsterism around the world.

The inhumanity of the Trump/Pence regime is intolerable—it concentrates what the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism has always been and meant for billions around the world. They are threatening the whole planet, and everyone on it. Following in the footsteps of Hitler’s demonization of and persecution of the Jews and other groups, this regime has singled out immigrants as the “internal enemy” for their followers to target and attack—and are aiming to get greater numbers of “good Americans” to be silent and go along with these horrors. Enough! Not one day more can this regime, and this system, be tolerated!


1. For background on this, see American Crime series Case #95: Reagan's Butcher Carries Out Genocide in Guatemala; Case #91: School of the Americas—Training Ground for Mass Murderers and Torturers, 1946-Present; Case #79: Ronald Reagan’s Honduras—The Atrocities of “Battalion 316”; Case #75: Obama, Clinton and the 2009 Military Coup in Honduras.  [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/sunsara-taylor-why-we-must-fight-ferociously-to-remove-the-trump-pence-regime-from-office-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Why We MUST Fight Ferociously to Remove the Trump/Pence Regime From Office—A Rebuttal to Vox’s Dylan Matthews

by Sunsara Taylor

May 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

In a recent piece at Vox.com, Dylan Matthews, a founder of the Vox website and former Washington Post reporter, makes a well-argued—but dangerously wrong—case against what he sees as the unfounded and harmful hopes many harbor to see Trump removed from office. Matthews finds these hopes understandable; he, too, feels that “our democracy” is being eroded. But he insists that the problems now manifest in Trump have been building for a while and will continue long after Trump is gone. To Matthews, Trump is not the problem and removing him is not part of the solution. Instead, Matthews cautions that the best we can hope for and what we must actively work towards is to muddle through this disastrous presidency. Aiming for more, in his view, will stand in the way of the more realistic goal of stymieing the worst of Trump’s agenda.

This is not only delusional, it is deadly. More, it is a viewpoint that many more people than just Matthews hold. So, it is important to dig into.

The Trump/Pence regime has already done shocking damage to lives here and around the world. It is on an aggressive path to do far worse, threatening—without exaggeration—the future existence of humanity on this planet. In the face of this, Matthews’ argument amounts to little more than a powerful demonstration of the truth of this statement from the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA): “The politics of the ‘possible’ is the politics of monstrosity. To adhere to, or acquiesce in, the politics of the ‘possible’ is to support, and actually to facilitate, monstrosity.”

In contrast to Matthews’ advocacy for the politics of the “possible,” we must honestly confront the existential threat now facing humanity and dare to change what seems possible through determined struggle. We must organize in earnest to get in position to launch a sustained campaign of nonviolent protests that starts with thousands and grows to millions and continues day after day, not stopping until the entire Trump/Pence regime has been removed from power.

The Problem Is Not “Dysfunction,” It Is Fascism

Matthews writes: “Most observers acknowledge that American democracy is in a pretty bad way.

“The sheer number of hurdles that reform legislation must pass through, from filibusters to holds to committee votes, have turned the federal government into a vetocracy that stands paralyzed and incapable of adapting in the face of new challenges. Gerrymandering, nonproportional representation in Congress, and the Electoral College lead to a representative government that isn’t very representative at all.” A bit later he adds, “Ejecting [Trump] cannot and will not suddenly cure our political dysfunction.”

But the problem of the Trump/Pence regime is not “dysfunction,” it is fascism. As I write, the state is terrorizing and shattering immigrant families across this country with the logic and momentum of genocide. A record number of restrictions on women’s ability to access abortion and birth control and attacks on LGBTQ people push us ever closer to a real-life Handmaid’s Tale. White supremacists inside law enforcement and outside have taken to heart Trump’s admonition to be “rough” with Black people and others. Trump is both attacking the judiciary and rapidly remaking it with fascist judges. The regime is purging those in the FBI and Department of Justice who are not loyal to Trump above all else. Pence and his network of Christian fundamentalist fascists are embedded throughout the officer corps of the military, taking over schools, purging scientists from Health and Human Services, as well as other agencies. Then there is the team of torturers and war criminals like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel, and others who only make more real Trump’s threats of war, with potential to spin wildly out of control.

All this is not just more of the same, or even just the worst of a Republican administration. This is a fascist regime step-by-step remaking law and societal norms on the road to establishing a fascist America.

Fascism Must Be Stopped—It Must Be Driven From Power—Before It Becomes Too Late

Like fascists throughout history, this regime has endured temporary setbacks and absorbed separate acts of resistance, only to lurch forward and lash out again, each time closer to all-out consolidation. There can be no “waiting it out” with fascists, no trying to “muddle through.” Unless and until this regime is driven from power, they will continue to launch new, highly repressive measures on many fronts, ultimately remaking the law and clamping down on all dissent. The lesson of history is precisely that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.

But stopping this fascist regime cannot be done by relying on and working through the official political channels. It won’t be stopped by relying on the Democrats or the much-hoped-for “Blue Wave” in the midterm elections. As RefuseFascism.org, an organization I co-initiated which unites people from a great diversity of political perspectives, has written in our new Call to Action: “The Democratic Party leadership will NOT lead us out of this. They are about maintaining order for their whole set up. For them, order is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism. After Trump’s election, President Obama said of Trump, ‘We are all on the same team... We are now all rooting for his success.’ No! If Trump succeeds, it will be catastrophic!”

For over a year, Trump has willfully shattered political norms and procedures, routinely declared his political opponents worthy of prison, and significantly diminished the rule of law and any constraint on his power. It is dangerous delusion to think he will be constrained or removed without unprecedented and truly massive political struggle.

This is why RefuseFascism.org argues that only by driving this regime from power through a massive, sustained nonviolent political struggle—one which starts with many thousands and grows to involve millions who refuse to back down—can the people stop a fascist America. This is dramatic, but it is necessary—it is also possible if we get to work and join with RefuseFascism.org in fighting for it.

Yes, the Problem IS Deeper Than Trump—We Need an Actual Revolution!

Matthews has a point when he argues that the problem is deeper than Trump... but here, too, he misses the essence of the matter.

Matthews locates the “deeper problem” in things like gerrymandering and the disenfranchisement of Black and Latino voters and others. But these harmful trends are part of the overall fascist movement that has given rise to Trump/Pence, they are not the cause of this regime.

The real deeper problem is not “imperfections” in the electoral process or institutions; it is the fundamental nature of the system that the elections and democratic institutions serve and have always served. As Bob Avakian has analyzed, “The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.”

In a talk he gave last year that remains highly relevant and timely, BA analyzes how the roots of this regime lie in the fundamental nature of the U.S. and stretch all the way back to the Confederacy as well as to a somewhat more recent (several decades long) build-up of a large and powerfully positioned Christian fascist movement. He examines how this regime is deadly serious about shredding political and social norms that have emphasized diversity and inclusion in recent decades, replacing them with the vicious reassertion of open white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobic nationalism and America First chauvinism—and BA gets into why this is. BA shows how all this has been driven forward by the underlying dynamics of the system of capitalism-imperialism in the U.S. and the challenges it is currently confronting as the sole superpower in an ever more volatile world. And, it must be noted, BA goes deeply into what must and can be done about all this, which only underscores the importance of people watching the talk for themselves.

None of these deeper problems that gave rise to the Trump/Pence regime will be fixed through the reforms Matthews suggests. As a revolutionary and advocate for the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, I am convinced that these deeper problems can only be solved through an actual revolution that overturns the entire system and replaces it with a radically different system rooted in a different mode of production, with a radically different culture and constitution on that basis. This brings me to the one place where I agree with Matthews. Tucked towards the end of his article, Matthews suggests that there should be more open talk of revolution.

Dylan Matthews should learn about and write about the fact that there IS a real revolutionary alternative—one that is very concrete, deeply scientific, and radically liberating. This is the new communism developed by Bob Avakian; it contains the vision, the strategy, and the epistemological method for not merely improving the lives of some, but overturning the whole system of capitalism-imperialism and constructing a new system on the road to human emancipation. More engagement with BA’s new communism and with his analysis of the Trump/Pence Regime and what must be done about it would not only bode well for humanity’s future, it might also have saved Matthews from being trapped within the wrong-headed arguments that lead him to objectively give support to the extreme oppression that so many face today, and which permeate the rest of his article.

But to Get Anywhere Good, We ALL Must Come Together Now to Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime

Noting that the problems are deeper than the Trump/Pence regime does not change the existential threat that this regime now poses. If fascism is allowed to consolidate, this will mean qualitatively greater suffering for humanity—potentially the destruction of human civilization as a whole. It would also make it incalculably harder for anyone to advocate and organize for any kind of deeper change. What this means is that people from a great many different political perspectives—whether we see this fascist regime as an extreme expression of the fundamental nature of this system or whether we see this fascism as a betrayal of what America is supposed to stand for—must come together and fight with everything we have got to prevent this fascist consolidation by driving out this regime. Honestly confronting and rising to this challenge is a necessary, immediate task to achieve any future worth living in—whether to you that is an actual revolution, a return to a non-fascist America, or something else entirely.

Matthews suggests that removing Trump from office won’t change anything profound. He is wrong.

When people come together to struggle for a better world, when we get off our couches and out from behind our computer screens to take to the streets to demand the removal of a fascist regime, we change things. We change ourselves—both in what feels tolerable and in what feels possible. We change how millions of others are thinking and acting. If we persist and grow week after week, we change how people and governments around the world see this country. All this changes the political calculus not only of the regime, but also of those sections of the rulers who do not agree with the regime but who right now are being attacked by it and continually capitulating to it. This can create the kind of political crisis that compels them to respond to our demand that this fascist regime be removed from power.

Only in this way can we wrench history off its current path towards genocidal ethnic cleansing, environmental game-over, and/or nuclear holocaust. Only in this way can we preserve the space in society to dream, to strategize, to organize, and to fight for deeper solutions.

So, enough with the grand rationalizations for sitting back and acting like “Good Germans” while lives are shattered and the future of humanity is imperiled! Let’s instead not only imagine—but get out of our comfort zones and fight for—something big and dramatic, something the whole world is counting on us to achieve. Let’s get organized to take up the Call to Action from RefuseFascism.org to make real our demand: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/americas-long-history-of-torture-rape-and-murder-of-children-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

The Gross Hypocrisy of Melania Trump's "Be Best" Campaign—and the Reality of America's Long Criminal History of Torture, Rape and Murder of Children

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In a White House ceremony this week with Donald Trump, Mike Pence and several cabinet officials present, Melania Trump announced a campaign called “Be Best” supposedly aimed at promoting the well-being of children. She said, “Children deserve every opportunity to enjoy their innocence.” The fact that this display of brazen hypocrisy wasn’t immediately met with loud jeers and outrage from the media and every corner of society is a sign of just how dangerously normalized this American fascist regime has become. On the very same day that this regime was claiming to care about children, Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions declared that all undocumented adults who are caught going across the border into the U.S. with children will be considered to be criminals “smuggling” minors, prosecuted, and separated from their kids. This means even more ugly inhumanity against children of immigrants—on top of a situation in which over 700 kids have been ripped away from parents or other adults by the Border Patrol since October 2017, more than 100 of them under the age of 4. Think of what this is doing to children who are already traumatized by having to uproot their whole lives in their home countries because of upheavals and crushing poverty, and then by the harrowing and often deadly trek across the border. This is the regime that now claims to be for the well-being of children!?!

Anyone with an ounce of humanity in their hearts must join in the movement of millions to drive out this fascist regime, before they consolidate their power and do even more incalculable harm, perhaps threaten civilization as a whole. But if you think that what’s needed is a return to when America was “better” and stood for something “good” in the world, then you need a dose of reality.

When have America and its rulers ever cared about the well-being of children? During the horrific 400 years slavery, when children were auctioned off as their enslaved parents watched and “sold down the river” to slave owners hundreds of miles away, never to be seen again? Did the slave-owning class, and the capitalists in the North who greatly profited from the plantation economy, give a fuck about the unknown number of lives of children and parents they destroyed? The obvious answer is no—unless you’re one of those, like Kanye or his pal Trump, who blame the slaves themselves for being in chains.

Was the well-being of children in the minds of America’s rulers when they carried out massacre after massacre of Native American peoples, including many, many children and babies? Or when they conducted cultural genocide by taking away thousands of Native American children from their parents and sending them to boarding schools, where their Native American culture was forcibly driven out of them through Christian indoctrination and physical, mental, and sexual abuse? Again—the rulers didn’t give a fuck about these children.

Look at the children, along with the adults, who were ruthlessly exploited by the rising capitalists in the factories of America, under dirty, unhealthy, and often life-endangering conditions. And as these capitalists became capitalist-imperialists whose empire now stretches across the globe, look at the children working in near-slavery conditions in the factories, mines and fields—and many forced into sexual slavery at an early age—in vast regions of the world, part of the international web of exploitation and oppression that goes into building up the vast wealth and power of the U.S. rulers.

When Harry Truman, the Democratic president, ordered the dropping of the atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, was he thinking about the well-being of the many, many children who were among the 200,000 humans, overwhelmingly civilians, who were incinerated? No, all that he and the other rulers had in mind was that these weapons of mass murder would be a signal to the world—to their rival powers as well as the masses of people—that America was now the number one imperialist godfather everyone had to bow down to. And these same rulers would go on just a few years later to lead an invasion and war in Korea that killed over 3 million people—again, including massive numbers of children, and again, in order to benefit the cause of their empire.

During the Vietnam War, among the Vietnamese people that the GIs tortured, raped, and massacred were many children. Probably pretty soon, the Republican Senator John McCain will die and then there’ll be a huge memorializing of him as an “American hero,” including how he survived after being shot down as a bomber pilot during the Vietnam War. No, he wasn’t a fucking hero—he was a war criminal, along with all the other American soldiers participating in that war! Go to www.revcom.us and read the piece by a Vietnam War vet, titled “We Were Baby Killers for U.S. Imperialism,” that runs down some truth about the atrocities and horrors the U.S. troops committed.

Let’s not forget one of the towering crimes of the Bill Clinton presidency in the 1990s, when the years-long U.S. economic sanctions on Iraq cut off medicine, food, and other vital supplies and killed 500,000 children in that country—more than were killed in the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do we need to ask whether this unspeakable horror led those running the U.S. to reconsider their actions? Madeleine Albright, the secretary of state under Clinton, was later asked by a TV interviewer about the death of half a million children—“Is the price worth it?” Albright’s answer: “We think the price is worth it.”

We could go on and on...but what we’ve laid out here is more than enough to point to the truth: America, from its beginnings to today, has always meant horrors and mass suffering for children—and for people overall—here and around the world. Trump, Pence and the rest of the cabal represent an extreme form of the system of capitalism-imperialism that poses an immediate threat to humanity, and that’s why their fascist regime must go. But how can going back to “imperialism as usual”—under monsters who think killing half a million children in the interest of their system is “worth it”—actually move the world beyond the horrors we already faced before Trump? Nothing less than an actual revolution to overthrow the rulers and their system—when a revolutionary situation has been brought into being and millions are ready to be led to fight all out, with a real chance to win—can bring about a completely new, and much better, political and economic system based on the interests of humanity.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/use-these-five-stops-posters-when-you-are-out-there-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Use These 5 Stops Posters When You’re Out There to Agitate, Agitate, Agitate—Organize, Organize, Organize

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Each of these posters focuses on one of the 5 Stops—which are concentrated descriptions of major social contradictions and oppressive conditions affecting the masses of people here and around the world. Under the system of capitalism-imperialism, none of these contradictions can be solved in the interests of the people here and worldwide. These 5 Stops point to compelling and fundamental reasons why we need an actual revolution that overthrows and uproots this system. A revolution that breaks the hold of this goddamn system over society and humanity and brings into being a radically new system based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—a new system that is part of the overall struggle internationally, ultimately for a communist world.

We are aiming right now to get HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution out into society in a really big way. When you and your team are out in the streets and all over with this, the 5 Stops posters—along with other materials—can be wielded as powerful tools as you agitate about the need for revolution and organize people into the movement for this revolution. Print them out big so that people will be compelled to stop, and to confront some basic reality about this system. Challenge people: If you recognize how important what is captured in these 5 Stops is, then you’ve got to engage with, and become part of, this movement for revolution.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/at-a-busy-transit-hub-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

At a Busy Transit Hub: Agitate, Agitate, Agitate—Organize, Organize, Organize

May 13, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a Revolution Club member:

The scene is a busy transit hub, with large numbers of people (mostly Black, some Latino) coming from work, and high school students getting out of school. We had been out here before in different ways in the past, but this time we came out with the orientation in the last issue of revcom.us: in short, agitate, agitate, agitate!—organize, organize, organize!

At many points in our time there (about two hours) we had scenes where most of our team was engaged in conversations with three to six different people who had stopped off of the agitation. There were some deep engagements on what an actual revolution is and why it is needed, and there was also a focus on the need for people to get organized into the revolution now. We were reading HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW) with people, giving people assignments to spread the HWCW pamphlet or the cards of Bob Avakian’s talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

There was one point when a woman we had just met, after talking with one of the revolutionaries, was given the mic and did some of her own agitation about why people need to wake up and look at what this system is doing to people.

There was another point when a religious fundamentalist was getting into a heated exchange with some revolutionaries and this got taken up in the agitation and got centered around this guy’s Dark Ages view toward women, and contrasting that with the values and approach of the revolution where women and men stand shoulder to shoulder in the struggle to emancipate humanity, and the need to break men out of this bullshit of wanting to dog and oppress women. This drew some people into standing with the revolutionaries or cheer us on, including a couple of young men from a high school.

There was another time when a Black man in his 30s came up to read the enlargement of HWCW that was being held by the agitator. He stood there reading it for a minute before saying, “You know, this isn’t going be peaceful.” As the agitator took him through some of the points in HWCW, about what an actual revolution is and why we need a revolution, he then said he had been in the military, and he has seen the way they fight and that he decided not to fight for them anymore, but that this force was part of what would be brought against people if there was an actual revolution. So we gave him a shout out in the agitation, telling people walking by how no one should be thanking the troops for their murderous service and instead people should uphold the examples of people like this who decide to break with this system and side with the people.

There were four times people got a copy of the book BAsics after being drawn in by the agitation and engaging with people. This includes one younger guy, high school age, who thumbed through the book on his own and read two quotes with one of the revolutionaries. He didn’t have the money for the book but we were able to show him how to download it online.

Another was a middle-aged man from another part of the world who is very politically aware and pays attention to what goes on in the world. He felt compelled by the need for revolution, but also saw the book in one of our boxes and asked “What is that?”

Another was a Nigerian woman who, when coming upon us, went straight to the donation bucket and dropped something in. When someone from the club approached her to ask why she donated, she said she had been an activist with Amnesty International, and that she has seen how bad things are, agrees we need some kind of revolution and that she even considers herself socialist. When the person from the club was showing her HWCW to be able to read some of it with her, this woman asked about the book that was in their hand and before too long that book was in her hand.

The other person who got BAsics was the vet (described earlier). He engaged for quite a while with one of the revolutionaries about a range of things, including what tasks he could take up right now to be part of working on revolution, and the role of spirituality in all this. When the club member read from BAsics the quote 4:1, he immediately decided he needed to get that book and so he did.

We don’t always have scenes like this where we are having bold revolutionary agitation AND deep engagements with people, AND where we are concentrating on ORGANIZING people, AND where we are able to get the leadership we have for this revolution right into people’s hands. This is part of what we are working on getting the right dynamism on, and in this case we hadn’t worked out exactly how to wield BAsics on the spot with people and get it in their hands as part of organizing them, but how this experience unfolded may point to some things about the potential for BAsics to really get out broadly in conjunction with this “Agitate/Organize” approach, and how there shouldn’t be artificial stages created between people responding on the spot to agitation, getting organized with meaningful tasks and ways to report back, and people getting into BA. That said, remember 1) To take the books out of the box!!! 2) When you’re holding the book and people see multiple copies, you do not need to “get to that part” or remember to reach into a bag to show them. Having multiple copies visible conveys to people that this is part of what we’re doing. We still have to do the work in the agitation (both in speaking to masses, and speaking to the ones and twos) as it is talked about in the “Agitate/Organize” piece, but this contributes to the scene. 3) We are still learning, so this is not “the model” and we should be trying things, sharing experiences and lessons, and seeking ways to break through with creativity AND radical simplicity.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/showing-the-BA-film-at-medgar-evers-college-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Barefoot Doctoring At...

Showing the BA Film at
Medgar Evers College

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the staff of revcom.us

“I knew Trump wasn’t a Democrat, and he wasn’t exactly a Republican, but I didn’t know what he was. Now I know—he’s a fascist!”

“I liked him [Bob Avakian]. I felt like his argument was very sound. I think he’s going to open lots of people’s eyes, because a lot of people didn’t know any of this...”

“... I like how he’s a revolutionary, too. His tone is an inspiration; it made ME want to be a revolutionary. I want to stand up for some stuff in my community.”

—Medgar Evers College students after the showing of the BA film

Thursday afternoon, an important showing and discussion of the film of Bob Avakian’s talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible took place in the library at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. The event was sponsored by Anthropology@MEC, the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department, the Charles Evans Innis Memorial Library, and Revolution Books. The bulk of the audience (30-35 people) were from the college and neighboring community. Most were students. A half dozen faculty and staff also attended, as well as members of the Revolution Club, Refuse Fascism, and the Revolution/revcom.us staff. About half of the audience stayed for the whole movie and most of the hour-long discussion afterward. Some stayed and talked for a couple of hours after the event was officially over.

The event publicity promised “unabashed” discussion, and it was. MC’ed by Dr. David Orenstein, a Medgar Evers professor, and Sunsara Taylor of revcom.us, there was unabashed, lively, and serious discussion provoked by BA’s talk. Much of it focused on the Trump/Pence regime and the need to fight fascism, but it also ranged into revolution and communism. Along with agreement and questions from watching the film, assumptions were challenged and there was lively engagement and struggle over what BA had to say and whether it was true.

One woman began that she didn't know Trump was so serious. Was he trying to be Hitler, is it slowly becoming fascism? What is fascism? A student asked, don’t checks and balances mean that Trump can't do what he wants? Isn't the legislature what we have to focus on?

There was a lot of back and forth over what should be done, and whether there was another way to deal with this, like boycotts or getting active in the political system—would these be safer or less risky? Even as many felt the Democrats have done nothing, there was some surprise as Sunsara Taylor talked about the role that Democrats have actually been playing, for example with North Korea and DACA. Sunsara gave the example of Schumer and Pelosi sitting down with Trump the day after he ended DACA and helping to legitimize it—and that same woman responded, “Nancy and Chuck did that?!?” in shock.

And people discussed whether a real revolution is required to overthrow the whole system. About revolution and communism, one woman asked how would a communist America be good when other communist countries are dictatorships?

Professor Orenstein and Sunsara Taylor had a great chemistry. He did vivid exposure on the attacks by Trump on sciences and the environment, and the dismantling of public education, and urged people to take action: “As citizens we have rights and are protected by the Constitution. But there is erosion of rights, attacks on journalists, and more. We need to NOT be asleep. It is worrisome if we don't see it going on before us. Must see it, and take action. Be aware what is happening, it is real, and we will all be suffering through this. However you act, ACT!”

As part of the conversation Sunsara Taylor went into what Refuse Fascism was about, and the urgent, immediate need for massive, sustained and growing numbers taking the street to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. She stressed that the people were the decisive factor in this, not the elections. She spoke to how this system is a nightmare, and to the need for revolution and building a movement for revolution now, and what all that means. She also addressed questions about the history of communism and introduced people to Bob Avakian—how he came forward in the 1960s, never gave up on revolution, and how he’s worked over decades to bring forward a new communism that’s a leap beyond the previous understandings.

Copies of the pamphlets HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution and Bob Avakian (BA)—Official Biography were handed out to everyone who attended, and people signed up to stay connected and get further involved.

This whole discussion, and the comments—and energy—that many people left the room with was a testament to the transformative power of BA’s scientific indictment of the roots and systemic character of the regime and what can and must be done to stop it. People didn’t just find the film “interesting,” although they did find it interesting, or learn this or that, although they did learn a lot. The film really changed—in important if beginning and still contradictory ways—the framework through which they were looking at current events. There was a process of deepening engagement and ideological struggle that really went somewhere with a lot of elasticity and participation (including very positively by the professor) on the foundation of the solid core provided by the film. This whole experience underscores the impact this film needs to have as thousands growing into tens and hundreds of thousands see it.

How the Showing Got Organized

Staff members of Revolution/revcom.us answered the call to be barefoot doctors, focusing on Medgar Evers, a commuter college in Brooklyn (part of CUNY—the City University of New York system) with a progressive history and a student body that is overwhelmingly non-white, including many immigrants or children of immigrants from around the world.

We began in late February by going out to the campus several days each week with palm cards about the film and clips queued up on our cellphones. We agitated to all we met along the lines of the description in the poster for the film—“A regime that could destroy civilization. You think you know...but you don’t.” We introduced people to BA, “the most radical revolutionary on earth.” We focused on encouraging people to watch clips from the film, and this impacted the dozens who did. And we struggled with everyone around the importance of getting organized to spread this film far and wide, because it could change the whole terrain. Many gave a way to stay in touch. We were determined, and struggled through as things usually did not go as we hoped or planned (including a meeting that no one came to!).

In recent weeks we’ve been putting this more firmly in the framework of revolution—having a literature table with BAsics, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, THE NEW COMMUNISM, and Science and Revolution as well as the Refuse Fascism call, and also introducing people to the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN - How We Can Really Make Revolution.

It would hit people when we’d agitate, “What does it say about this whole system that 400 years after slavery began we now have Trump in the White House?” People were jolted, and often agreed that the whole system was rotten. We’d go on: we need a revolution, and you need to get into BA, the leader of the revolution, and watch his film about why, right now, we have to stop the Trump/Pence regime before it’s too late.

Going for a film showing on the campus, even though there wasn’t a lot of time left in the semester, we “walked the halls” looking for professors or administrators we could talk to, and found a number of people who were interested. Professor Orenstein in particular was eager for the kind of intellectual engagement and political activation the film showing promised. That night he went home, watched the film and wrote a promotional call for watching BA’s film. A couple of days later he secured a place for us to show it, and we were off to the races with about ten days to build the showing. Lesson: go out widely without preconceptions about who might do what—the earth is shifting under our feet.

We saturated the campus and popularized the film in the nearby community with leaflets and posters, and leafleted a nearby high school. We brought a big 3 by 4 foot enlargement of the poster for the film to campus. The Revolution Club also joined in for the final push. Some students took part, taking stacks of leaflets, making announcements in class. One made 300 copies of the flyer. The sponsorship of a professor created openings for other professors to spread word among their students.

Questions came up throughout this effort that we had to wrestle with and solve. Focusing on showing the clips from the film, introducing people to BA and encouraging them to engage with him more deeply. Struggling to build organization among students and professors. Bringing HOW WE CAN WIN into the mix. And working our ways through these contradictions from the standpoint of getting BA and the new communism out far and wide and bringing forward legions of real followers is the most important thing we can do and the measure of all of our efforts.

The key was keeping a firm grip on the reality we confront, the leader and revolutionary visionary we have in BA, and the urgent, transformative film we have in our hands. Organizing showings of this film—whether larger or smaller—is something many, many people can do, and learn as we go along.

Even as school winds down and finals loom for the students, we’re going to be going back to campus, emailing everyone we met, having lunches with professors and figuring out how we can spread BA and this film.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/542/refusefascismorg-lies-from-the-same-lying-liars-who-sold-the-invasion-of-iraq-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Reprinted from RefuseFascism.org

Lies from the Same Lying Liars Who Sold the Invasion of Iraq

May 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bolton, Netanyahu, Trump

 

In his May 8 announcement formally pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement, Donald Trump claimed:

These are not only lies, they are recycled lies—used to sell the invasion of Iraq fifteen years ago.

The article “Iran Hawks Are the New Iraq Hawks” by Peter Beinart in the Atlantic exposes how the same liars who sold the Iraq invasion based on concocted “evidence” of “weapons of mass destruction”—specifically Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and now Secretary of State John Bolton—are doing it again, this time to justify tearing up the Iran nuclear agreement and instead pursuing a radically more confrontational course that ratchets up the chances for war.

In the Atlantic, Beinart writes:

As with Iraq, Bolton and Netanyahu want the United States to meet this supposedly growing threat [from Iran] with a more confrontational policy. Key to that policy shift is withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, which would leave the U.S. free to reimpose sanctions, and perhaps, as Bolton has suggested, even bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.

And, as with Iraq, it’s easier for Bolton and Netanyahu to achieve that goal if they discredit the current system of international inspections. Bolton has called the inspection efforts established by the Iran nuclear deal “fatally inadequate” and declared that “the International Atomic Energy Agency” is “likely missing significant Iranian [nuclear] facilities.” In his 2015 speech to Congress attacking the Iran deal, Netanyahu insisted that “Iran not only defies inspectors, it also plays a pretty good game of hide-and-cheat with them....”

Netanyahu and Bolton’s problem, as with Iraq, is that the inspectors don’t think they’re being cheated....

And Beinart continues:

That’s the narrative that Netanyahu—like [U.S. Secretary of State at the time, Colin] Powell in 2003—went before the cameras last week to undermine. Like Powell, Netanyahu claimed the weapons inspectors had been duped. Israeli intelligence, he declared, had found “new and conclusive proof” that Iran “didn’t come clean to the IAEA, as required by the nuclear deal.” After Netanyahu’s presentation, [Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron] Dermer—who can be seen sitting behind Netanyahu in 2002 as Netanyahu testified to Congress about the inadequacy of weapons inspections in Iraq—told CNN”s Erin Burnett that, “The inspections regime in Iran, Erin, is a joke.”

Netanyahu is likely right that Iran hasn’t “come clean” to the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] about its past nuclear activities. In 2002, [UN weapons inspector] Hans Blix said much the same about Iraq’s incomplete statements about its past WMD programs. But now, as then, inspectors deny that evasion about past nuclear activities equals evasion about current nuclear activities. In fact, international inspectors responded to Netanyahu’s presentation much as they had to Powell’s: By denying that the information constituted anything particularly new...

In his presentation last week, Netanyahu cited a secret Iranian nuclear program called Project Amad (which the IAEA had reported on in 2011). The project had been shuttered, he claimed, but “today, in 2018, this work is carried out by SPND, that’s an organization inside Iran’s Defense Ministry.” The implication is that Iran’s nuclear-weapons project continues; all that has changed is its name. But Netanyahu offered no evidence of that. And in the materials his aides distributed to journalists, the present tense was removed.

Similarly, Bolton has repeatedly declared—despite the IAEA's findings and without proof—that Iran is still actively seeking nuclear weapons. Last September, he said, “Iran’s program continues unhindered.” This March, he spoke about Iran’s “continued effort to get deliverable nuclear weapons.” Which helps explain why the Trump administration keeps suggesting the same thing. After Netanyahu’s presentation, the White House issued a statement declaring that “Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear-weapons program.” It later changed “has” to “had,” but Trump himself keeps using the present tense. Asked about Netanyahu’s presentation, he declared, “I’ve been saying it’s happening. They’re not sitting back idly.”

* * *

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a disaster for humanity. It resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, set in motion an explosion of violence, suffering, environmental devastation and death throughout the region, is a key source of the global refugee crisis, and continues to fuel the fires of religious wars. Now we are being fed almost the same lies by the same liars to justify moves that hold the potential for even greater death and destruction by a regime headed by a demented bully who threatens to “rain down fire and fury” on, and “totally destroy” a whole country, and who repeatedly asked: If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them?

Speaking to the challenge posed by the dual possibilities of Trump moving to shut down investigations of his regime, and tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, Refuse Fascism co-initiator Andy Zee said: “The question is: WILL WE ACCEPT IT? OR, WILL WE UNITE—COMING FROM MANY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND POINTS OF VIEW—TO STOP THIS THROUGH MASSIVE NON-VIOLENT PROTEST THAT DOESN’T STOP UNTIL THIS ILLEGIITMATE, ILLEGAL and IMMORAL FASCIST REGIME IS REMOVED FROM POWER? (“We Are At a Crossroads: The Stakes Are the Future of Humanity”).

That question is posed all the more sharply now.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/awtwns-the-nakba-ethnic-cleansing-and-the-birth-of-israel-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

The Nakba: Ethnic cleansing and the birth of Israel

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

May 4, 2018. A World to Win News Service. In what they call “the Great March of Return,” tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees forced to live in Gaza have been braving Israeli gunfire to demonstrate near the fences that imprison them every Friday during the weeks leading up to May 15. That day, Nakba Day, commemorates a turning point in the mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, about 250,000 in the months before May 15, 1948, when the state of Israel was proclaimed, and as many as 750,000 more by the end of that year. The following article originally appeared in AWTWNS for December 10, 2007. The Israeli-born historian Ilan Pappé, whose book is reviewed here, was forced to leave that country the following year.

****

Palestinians call what happened to them beginning in 1947 the Nakba—Arabic for catastrophe. It was perpetrated by Zionist leaders looking to form the state of Israel on Palestinian land without the Palestinians.

During the Nakba almost a million Palestinians (half the population at that time) were brutally forced from their land, villages and homes, fleeing with only the possessions they could carry. Many were raped, tortured and killed. To ensure that there would be nothing for the Palestinians to return to, their villages and even many olive and orange trees were so well razed that few visible remnants remain. When the Nakba ended, there had been 31 documented massacres and probably others. Some 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods were emptied of their inhabitants.

Former Arabic village and road names were Hebrewized. Ancient mosques and Christian churches were destroyed. Theme parks, pine forests (trees not native to the region) and Israeli settlements sit atop many of the old Palestinian villages. All this was to wipe out any physical evidence that the land belonged to Palestinians and give finality to the Nakba.

How many times have you had a discussion about the plight of the Palestinians with supporters of the existence of the Israeli state and met the argument that the problem arose from Palestinian intolerance of Jewish settlers? How many people know—or admit—that from the beginning Zionism had planned to permanently expel the Palestinian people from their land? In many Western countries, Nakba denial is as obligatory as Holocaust denial is condemned. How did this happen?

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Israeli historian and senior lecturer at Haifa University Ilan Pappé, explores the period of the Nakba (One World Publisher, Oxford, 2006). The premise is that the Nakba was nothing less than an act of ethnic cleansing, normally regarded by international law as a crime against humanity. To support this theory, the author outlines various definitions from different current sources, including “an ethnically mixed area being turned into a pure ethnic space.” He shows how the slaughter and/or forced expulsion of the Armenians in Turkey, the Tutsis in Rwanda and the Croatians and Bosnians in former Yugoslavia is akin to what the Zionists did to the Palestinians on a massive scale in 1948 and are still doing today. Pappé also draws a connection between ethnic cleansing and colonialism as it occurred in North and South America as well as Africa and Australia.

His research is based on primary sources: newly released material (1990s) from the Israeli military archives, David Ben-Gurion’s diary where summaries of many of his meetings are recorded, the rereading of the older archival material through the prism of the ethnic cleansing paradigm and extensive use of Palestinian oral history archives.

Pappé provides a brief historical background leading up to the Nakba and a few chapters at the end of the book about the situation today for Palestinians. The following is a very sketchy timeline of events leading up to the Nakba.

The first Zionist settlements began in 1878, when Palestine, like much of the Middle East, was a part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1917, with the end of WWI and the defeat of the Ottomans, the British army marched into Palestine and took over. Later that same year, the British Lord Balfour issued the Balfour Declaration, which promised a “national home” for the Jews on Palestinian land even though by most accounts, Jews constituted at most only 8 percent of the population and even less according to some estimates. The League of Nations legalized the British occupation by giving it a mandate to run Palestine. In 1938 major fighting between Jews and Palestinians broke out. The bombs of the Zionist military organization Irgun killed 119 Palestinians; Palestinian bombs killed eight Jews. In 1947 Britain told the newly formed United Nations that it would withdraw from Palestine. In November the UN formulized the plan to divide Palestine into two states. By December 1947, the Zionists began mass expulsions of Palestinians. When the British pulled out in May 1948, the Zionists declared independence. The Nakba continued into the early months of 1949.

Pappé’s book reveals how meticulously the Zionist movement planned, executed, lied about, and then denied their takeover of Palestinian land and the removal (through force and terror) of its population. He presents Israeli policies against the Palestinian minority inside Israel as well as in the West Bank and Gaza in their proper historical framework, setting the record straight on truths that conceptualize the situation faced by Palestinians today. Pappé only briefly touches on the role of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement in the late 1800s, to show how deeply rooted the concept of “transfer” of the indigenous population was, how the “demographic problem” as viewed by most Israelis today is a continuation of the original Zionist exclusionist view. A map from 1919 clearly illustrates Zionist intentions to grab all of Palestine. The Herzl ideologues stated that “strangers” lived in their biblical land and by stranger they meant everyone who was not Jewish, although most of Palestine’s Jews had left after the Roman period. And even today, a recent poll indicated that 68 percent of Israeli Jews want Palestinian citizens of Israel to be “transferred.”

Much of the book’s exposure concerns David Ben-Gurion, one of the masterminds and leading overseers of the Zionist project and the ethnic cleansing that implemented it. From the mid-1920s, Ben-Gurion functioned as the unofficial defense minister (or minister of war) of the not-yet officially formed state and later became its founding prime minister. He worked on an international level as well as locally organizing other Zionists around his methods and goals. It was in his home that ethnic cleansing was first discussed with a combination of security figures and “Arab affairs” specialists (Jews who grew up in the region and could speak Arabic) who would advise future governments of Israel (Pappé calls it the Consultancy). His view toward achieving a Zionist state was ambitious and strategic. He thought it could only be won by force, but that the Zionists had to wait for the opportune historical moment to be able to deal “militarily” (as Ben-Gurion put it) with the demographic reality on the ground: the presence of a non-Jewish native majority population. When in 1937 the British offered the Jewish community a future state (on a much smaller percentage of land than the UN was to give it in 1948), he accepted that as a good beginning in that it formalized the idea. He had far more ambitious plans. In 1942 Ben-Gurion publicly stated the Zionist claim for all of Palestine, but later came to believe that this was not realistic and that 80 percent would be sufficient for a viable Israeli state.

The book talks about one important strategic project guided by Ben-Gurion—the “village project” of mapping all of Palestine. Through the use of aerial photography, details of every Palestinian village were recorded: its access routes, quality of land, water springs, main sources of income, socio-political composition, religious affiliations, names of its mukhtars (traditional village heads), relationship with other villages, the age of individual men and an index of “hostility” toward the Zionist project measured by involvement in the 1938 revolt against the British policy of allowing increased immigration of Jews into Palestine (including those who may have killed Jews).

Those involved in the village mapping understood that this growing database was not a mere academic geography exercise. One person who went on one of these data collection operations in 1940 recalled many years later: “We had to study the basic structure of the Arab village. This means the structure and how best to attack it... how best to approach the village from above or enter it from below. We had to train our ‘Arabists’ (the Orientalists who operated a network of collaborators) how best to work with informants.”

The book describes another preoccupation of Ben-Gurion and the Consultancy—the “demographic balance” between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. Whenever there was a majority of Palestinians living in an area it was considered a disaster. The public policy that was adopted was to promote widespread Jewish immigration. But the Jews who were moving to Palestine since the 1920s preferred living in the more urban areas which were inhabited by Jews and Palestinians in equal number, whereas the countryside was overwhelmingly inhabited and cultivated by Palestinians. The Zionists understood that immigration would not counterbalance the Palestinian majority and use of other means would be necessary. Already in 1937 Ben-Gurion told his cabal that the “‘reality’ of a Palestinian majority would compel the Jewish settlers to use force to bring about the ‘dream’—a purely Jewish Palestine.” “We have to face this new reality with all its severity and distinctness. Such a demographic balance questions our ability to maintain Jewish sovereignty.” “They can either be mass arrested or expelled; it is better to expel them.”

When the British decided to leave in 1947 the Palestine question was transferred to the UN, which, like the British, also accepted the Zionist claims on Palestine and that partition of Palestine was the best way to solve the issue. Even if you accepted the Zionist logic, a partition according to relative population would have allowed less than 10 percent of the land for a Jewish state. But after considerable negotiations, the UN Partition Resolution 181 of November 1947 allotted the Zionists 56 percent of Palestine. While Jerusalem, because of its religious significance to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was kept as an international city, much of the most fertile land was included in the Zionist portion. Although disappointed again, Ben-Gurion appreciated the international recognition of the Jewish state while ignoring the part which stipulated how much and which territory. He declared that Israel’s borders “will be determined by force and not by the partition resolution.” Ben-Gurion skillfully sidestepped what little there was of the worldwide opposition to their schemes. While the Zionists publicly proclaimed to uphold the Resolution, inside the country they began to implement their own plans. This ignoring of negotiations “before the ink is even dry” became characteristic of subsequent and current negotiations Israel engaged in.

Pappé relates how the Arab leaders opposed the partition of Palestine and boycotted these UN negotiations. They refused to participate on the grounds that the division of their land with a settler community (by then one third of the population, who owned only 6 percent of the land and had long proclaimed that they wanted to de-Arabize Palestine) was illegal and unjust. Resolution 181 created tremendous anxiety for the Palestinians. They sensed the impending showdown with the Zionists. The slaughter began in December 1947, even before the British left Palestine.

Pappé details the combination of meticulous planning as well as allowing “unauthorized” initiative to the more terrorist military groups, like the Irgun, Stern gang and the Palmach (special commando units who pioneered the building of Jewish settlements). With a group of military and civilian people, which included some well-known figures like Moshe Dayan (a military leader who was army chief during the 1956 Suez crisis and defense minister during the time of the Six Day War in 1967) and Yitzhak Rabin (a general and two-term prime minister, assassinated in 1995), Ben-Gurion established and supervised the different plans to prepare the military forces of the Jewish community for an offensive against the Palestinians. Plan C (a revised version of Plans A and B) spelled out the actions that would be taken: killing Palestinian political leadership and those who financially supported them, killing Palestinians who acted against Jews, killing officers and officials, attacking villages that seemed more militant and might resist future attacks by the Israeli army, and damaging Palestinian sources of livelihood. Then Plan Dalet (or Plan D) was drawn up, the blueprint for the systematic and total expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland. Plan D described operations in the following way: “destroying villages (by setting fire to them, by blowing them up, and by planting mines in their debris) and especially those population centers which are difficult to control in a constant manner; or by mounting combined control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the villages; conducting a search inside them. In case of resistance, the armed forces must be wiped out and the population expelled outside the borders of the state.”

In the course of carrying out Plan D the Zionist leaders were not so concerned with resistance on the part of the Palestinians or other Arabs who might come to their defense, as opposition from the Arab states was half-hearted and their soldiers poorly trained and equipped. Publicly the Zionist leaders railed about the possibility of a “second Holocaust,” this time at the hands of the Arabs, but privately they were fully aware that the war rhetoric of the Arab states was not matched by serious preparation on the ground. Often irresolute army leaders from the Arab states were ignored by some Arab soldiers who took initiative and fought valiantly to defend the Palestinians. The Zionist leadership’s main fear was the British army. But while it was still in Palestine, the British army rarely intervened against the massacres, even when beseeched to do so by the local Arab population.

Expulsions began by December 1947, in villages and larger towns. The following is a condensed description from Pappé’s book of what happened in Haifa under British eyes. The morning after the UN resolution, the Hagana (the main military group that would become the Israeli army) and the Irgun (an early split from the Hagana, led by future prime minister Menachem Begin, which also later became part of the army) unleashed a campaign of terror on the 75,000 Palestinian residents of Haifa. Jewish settlers who had come in the 1920s and lived in the hills around the city took part in these attacks alongside Zionist military units.

Various tactics were used. Frequent shelling and sniping was rained down on the Palestinian population, oil mixed with fuel was poured down the roads and ignited, barrels full of explosives were rolled down into the Palestinian areas. When panic-stricken Palestinians came out to put out the fires they were sprayed with machine-gun fire. Jews who passed as Palestinians brought cars stuffed with explosives to be repaired at Palestinian garages and the cars were detonated. In a refinery plant in Haifa, Jews and Arabs worked shoulder to shoulder and had a long history of solidarity in their fight for better labor conditions against their British employers. The Irgun, which specialized in bomb throwing into Arab crowds, did so at this refinery. Palestinian workers reacted by killing 39 Jewish workers, one of the worst and also one of the last retaliatory skirmishes in that period. Later the Hagana units went into one of Haifa’s Arab neighborhoods, Wadi Rushmiyya, expelled people and blew up their houses. The British army looked the other way while these atrocities were being committed. Two weeks later the Palmach went into the Hawassa neighborhood of Haifa, where around 5,000 of the poorest Arabs lived in dismal conditions. Huts and the local school were blown up, causing the people to flee. Pappé regards this as the official beginning of the ethnic cleansing operation in urban Palestine.

By March 1948, Ben-Gurion commented to the Jewish Agency Executive, “I believe the majority of the Palestinian masses accept the partition as a fait accompli and do not believe it is possible to overcome or reject it... The decisive majority of them do not want to fight us.”

The armies of the Arab countries were no match for the well-equipped Zionist military clandestine units, which had received weapons from Britain, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. Arab irregulars ambushed Israeli convoys but refrained from attacking the settlements. The Consultancy decided that ruthless retaliation was not sufficient and they needed to change to more drastic actions.

Ben-Gurion used the Arab world’s attempts to rescue the Palestinians to whip up a fear factor among the Jewish community that he carefully nourished to the extent that it overcame any opposition these tactics would engender. The “security” of the Jewish state (then as it is still today) became the overriding fear that allowed many Israelis as well as people outside the country to turn a blind eye to what the Zionist leadership was doing, what their plan constituted.

Until March 1948, the Zionist leadership still portrayed their activities as retaliation to hostile Arab actions. Then, two months before the British were to leave, they openly declared that they would take over the land and expel the indigenous population by force. When the British left in May, the Zionists declared their state. They were officially recognized by the U.S. and the USSR. Ruthless expulsion went into high gear and the word retaliation was no longer used to describe what the Israeli military forces were doing. Ben-Gurion said, “Every attack has to end with occupation, destruction and expulsion.” There was no longer any need to distinguish between the “innocent” and the “guilty.” Pre-emptive strikes and collateral damage became acceptable and necessary.

Deir Yassin

On a hill to the west of Jerusalem lay the town of Deir Yassin. The massacre there is well known throughout the world but bears mentioning here as it reflected the systematic nature of Plan D as applied to hundreds of villages throughout Palestine. Pappé describes how on April 9, 1948, Jewish soldiers burst into the village and sprayed the houses with machine-gun fire, killing many. “The remaining villagers were then gathered in one place and murdered in cold blood, their bodies abused while a number of women were raped and then killed.

“Fahim Zaydan, who was twelve years old at the time, recalled how he saw his family murdered in front of his eyes: ‘They took us out one after the other; shot an old man and when one of his daughters cried, she was shot too. Then they called my brother Muhammad, and shot him in front of us, and when my mother yelled, bending over him—carrying my little sister Hudra in her hands, still breastfeeding her—they shot her too.’

“Zaydan himself was shot, too, while standing in a row of children the Jewish soldiers had lined up against a wall, which they had then sprayed with bullets ‘just for the fun of it’, before they left. He was lucky to survive his wounds.”

When villages were entered, destroyed and the inhabitants rounded up, decisions were made about who would live and who would die. Intelligence officers on the ground aided the military officers in this decision. The intelligence officers with the help of local collaborators (hooded spies) would point out different people to the main intelligence officer.

Israel and the Palestinians Today

As a result of the Nakba, there are now almost 4.5 million Palestinians dispersed throughout the world, in addition to the 1.4 million under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and 1.3 million in Gaza, a formerly sparsely populated desert strip now full of crowded refugee camps and towns. About 1.5 million Palestinians continue to live in Israel itself as second-class citizens. The Jewish population of Israel numbers roughly 5.5 million. The Zionist state now comprises about 78 percent of historic Palestine, not counting the still-growing number of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It has no parallel in the world—a state consciously built, since its inception, for one people, one culture, on religious grounds and with no real permanent borders.

Pappé’s argument that the Nakba was an act of ethnic cleansing is convincing. The human and physical geography of Palestine was transformed by the Zionist consciously punitive plan to wipe out Palestine’s history and culture and thus deny any future claim Palestinians could make to their land. Through the years since the Nakba, the killing machine that is the Israeli army has continued its dirty work. Pappé lists the following: Kfar Qassim in October 1956, Israeli troops massacred 49 villagers returning from their fields. Qibya in the 1950s, Samoa in the 1960s, the villages of Galilee in 1976, the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, Kfar Qana in 1999, Wadi Ara in 2000 and the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. There has not been an end to Israel’s killing of Palestinians.

Pappé ends his book with the hope that Israelis will wake up from their distorted view of wanting retribution, shed racism and religious fanaticism, and wake up to the truth portrayed in this book. He thinks that not accepting the Palestinian right of return equals the continuing defense of the “white” apartheid-like enclave and upholding Fortress Israel. He says that Palestinians and Jews coexisted peacefully before the Nakba and even now many have strong social ties, which shows that the two peoples can live in harmony. He calls for the transformation of Israel into a secular and democratic state.

Pappé’s book does not concern itself with the central role that Israel has come to play as the bastion of American imperial interests in the Middle East. Without the military and political backing of the U.S. government and the unparalleled financial support that is central to Israeli society and its way of life ($3 billion a year in U.S. government aid, along with officially encouraged private funding), Israel would not be what it is today—if it even existed at all. Nonetheless, the book is well worth the read for its historical accuracy and as a vivid reminder of the tragedy that is the Nakba.

 

On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Check It Out: Angels Wear White

May 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The plot of the movie Angels Wear White (嘉年) revolves around an incident where Mia, who does all the shit work at a Chinese seaside tourist motel, witnesses evidence of the rape of two 12-year-old girls by a man with powerful connections. Mia is a teenager herself. She is one of two hundred million people driven into the teeming cities of China by the backwardness and poverty of the Chinese countryside. She survives, barely, without a legal work permit, subjected to the kind of unmitigated exploitation and lack of any rights that undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face. Her “choices” are basically to work for sub-survival wages or be pimped out in a hellish world where her virginity is a “commodity.”

Overwhelmed by the day-to-day struggle to survive, Mia looks for a way to wrench some security and advantage for herself out of the situation she lands in, even as she is pulled to do the right thing for the two young victims despite the risks to her tenuous existence. Other characters too, especially Xiaowen—one of the young victims—are drawn with complexity and compassion.

I don’t want to reduce this movie to the political and social issues it highlights. It is a deep, intense, multidimensional, heartbreaking experience that keeps the audience in rapt attention to the very end. But the underlying story is one of people—including a sympathetic attorney—going up against a brutal power dynamic that anyone with a clue as to what’s going on everywhere in this world will recognize: The grinding, vicious subjugation that oppresses women from the sweatshops of Bangladesh to the casting couches of Hollywood. The New York Times review noted “The moral rot and callous corruption depicted in ‘Angels Wear White’ has a particularly bracing effect in part because, cultural specifics aside, the inhumanity on display is hardly alien.”

But what people do not know is that this is not “human nature.” This is not “men will be men.” And this is not something that can be changed just through exposure and protest, essential as that is. This is a product of a system that has the vicious exploitation and oppression of women sewn into every stitch of its fabric.

I don’t know what the thinking was behind the filmmaker repeatedly focusing the camera on a sign saying “Serve the People” above the entrance to the police station where the victims attempt to find justice. On one level, it points to an obvious and bitter irony. But in fact, that slogan did accurately describe the defining ethos during the all-too-brief but precious 27 years when capitalism was overthrown in China, replaced by a revolutionary society and a socialist system. That revolutionary society took tumultuous first steps in tearing up the fabric of exploitation and oppression, including in the ways in which it suffocates women’s lives. Women in China, especially during the wildly slandered Cultural Revolution, were full human beings in a way they have not been since human societies were divided into oppressors and oppressed. The re-imposition of the oppression of women in China is a hellish result of the defeat of that revolution after the death of its leader, Mao Zedong, and the much vaunted (by oppressors everywhere) re-imposition of capitalism in China. That restoration of capitalism in China and the way people have been brainwashed to think it means revolution doesn’t work weighs heavy on the dreadfully low sights that afflict the thinking of people around the world today.

But the reality is that more than ever there’s no reason why the only “options” for billions of women in this world should be those emblemized in the lives of Mia and Xiaowen. Yes, people have to resist. Yes, people have to change. But if you think about how things come down in Angels Wear White, if you think about how things come down every second of every day everywhere in this world, and if you begin to engage the work of Bob Avakian, you can see that until the system that lives on and violently enforces the oppression of women is overthrown, and replaced by a completely different system, nothing is really going to change.

In Angels Wear White, we see the raw material for that revolution. The leadership exists for that: you find it all at revcom.us. The rest is up to us.

***

Angels Wear White is in Mandarin with English subtitles. It is currently showing in New York City. It opens on May 18 in Los Angeles and then will be available online.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

American Crime

Case #99: May 13, 1985: The MOVE Massacre

May 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

American Crime is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 


Above: Osage Avenue burns after Philadelphia police dropped bomb on MOVE house. May 13, 1985. 11 people died and 61 homes burned down.




Right: As the neighborhood burned, hundreds gathered in the street, indicting the police and chanting "Murderers! Murderers!"

THE CRIME: 5:35 am, May 13, 1985. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor aims his bullhorn at the house at 6221 Osage Avenue and declares: “Attention MOVE! This is America.”

Seven adults and six children, members of the MOVE organization, were in their home. Outside, hundreds of heavily armed police and city officials surrounded them.

Fifteen minutes later the police assault began. Explosives blew holes in the side of the house and tear gas was pumped in; fire hoses streamed water onto the roof. Police opened fire with over 8,000 rounds from handguns, Uzis, and anti-tank weapons. There was no solid evidence that the people inside ever fired a shot.

When the occupants still did not come out, a police helicopter hovered over the roof and dropped a powerful bomb. The roof burst into flames so hot that homes across the street ignited. Flames raced downward through the MOVE house toward the people huddled in the basement. The fire trucks on hand did nothing to stop the fire, which then quickly spread to the surrounding homes.

The MOVE house became an unbearable hell of intense heat, fire, tear gas. and smoke. Some residents burst outside, but were met by police gunfire and either killed or forced back into the flames, to be burned alive.

By the end, five children ages 9 to 14 were murdered by the police, as were six adults, their bodies mostly in pieces. Sixty-one homes were burned; 250 people rendered homeless. The one adult who survived—Ramona Africa—was arrested and served seven years in jail. The one child survivor was torn from those who love him and put in foster care.

THE CRIMINALS AND CO-CONSPIRATORS: Mayor Wilson Goode, the first Black mayor of Philadelphia, authorized and oversaw the massacre, along with other city leaders, which included former generals, and FBI agents.

The Philadelphia Police Department carried it out.

The FBI took part in the months of planning that went into this atrocity, and provided the city with the military-grade C-4 explosives for the bomb and other heavy weaponry.

The news media collaborated, before and after the crime, in painting MOVE as “dangerous terrorists” who left the authorities “no choice” except a full-scale military assault.

Dozens of political leaders, including U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, defended and praised Mayor Goode for his handling of the assault. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates called Goode a “hero.” Not a single major political leader—Democrat or Republican, Black or white—denounced it.

THE ALIBI: Philadelphia authorities claimed that MOVE was a violent terrorist organization, holding a peaceful neighborhood hostage. The city claimed that it “just wanted to protect the neighborhood,” and that MOVE was digging a network of tunnels, building a weapons stockpile and plotting a major incident, perhaps a hostage taking. They further claimed that MOVE “wanted a violent confrontation” and the city was just responding to that threat. According to then-district attorney Ed Rendell, “These are people who essentially committed suicide, and murdered their own children.”

Ramona AfricaWhile the perpetrators of this horrendous crime – the mayor and the police – walked free, the only adult survivor, Ramona Africa (shown here speaking in 2014), was arrested and spent seven years in prison for refusing to renounce MOVE, while the surviving child, Birdie Africa, was seized by the system and taken away from his family. Photo: YouTube

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: MOVE was a Black radical organization formed in the early 1970s that refused to respect present-day America and its prevailing values. It exposed the rulers of this society for the liars, racists and murderers they are, denounced their brutal police, and talked about “revolution.”

MOVE thought of revolution as changing people’s thinking and behavior, not overthrowing the whole system, and MOVE’s political actions were peaceful. But when MOVE members were threatened and confronted by the authorities, they did not back down. The rulers of this system considered this to be intolerable, especially coming just a few years after the U.S. had been rocked by mass rebellions of Black people.

Over a year before the May 13 attack, city authorities began meeting and planning how to put a stop to MOVE once and for all—these plans included building models of the MOVE house and practicing exploding it!

Mayor Goode said: “If I had to make the decision all over again, knowing what I know now, I would make the same decision because I think we cannot permit any terrorist group, any revolutionary group in this city, to hold a whole neighborhood or a whole city hostage. And we have to send that message out loud and clear, over and over again...” (Emphasis added.) Never mind the fact that the most common definition of terrorism is the murder of innocent civilians for a political purpose—and that MOVE never did anything remotely resembling that, while Goode committed exactly that crime in his bombing.

Addendum: Repeat Offenders

The MOVE massacre is not the first time this system has bombed and burned out rebellious Black people.

In June 1921, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a white mob attempting to lynch a Black prisoner was stopped, partly by Black residents armed with shotguns. In response, white supremacists went on a rampage. A mob of over 1,000—and including police—stormed the Greenwood area, at that time known as the “Negro Wall Street” because of its vibrant Black-owned economy. Looting, burning, and shooting people, the mob met fierce resistance from armed Blacks. The police commandeered a half-dozen small planes, supposedly to provide surveillance for their attack, though many reported that the planes also dropped explosive and incendiary devices on the Black community.

By the time it was over, up to 100 Black people had been murdered, and perhaps two dozen of their white attackers killed. The population of Greenwood had been rounded up by police and forced into detention centers. The whole neighborhood, including 1,256 homes, had been burned to the ground; only a few buildings survived.

 

Taken in by an unending media and police campaign against MOVE and shocked by the scale of violence unleashed against MOVE, too many people stood by paralyzed and did not rise up in response. A "Draw the Line" statement, initiated by Carl Dix and others, was signed by more than 100 prominent Black figures and others denouncing the collusion of Black elected officials in the repression of the Black community.
Draw the Line Statement about MOVE Massacre
Download JPG | PDF

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

An evening with Joyce Carol Oates at Revolution Books, Berkeley

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the staff of Revolution Books:

On April 30, an overflow crowd came to hear writer Joyce Carol Oates at Revolution Books, Berkeley.

Joyce Carol Oates, 79, has published more than 100 books. She is known for her novels and short stories, for writing about people from all walks of life. She writes with a deeply critical eye about America without a sugar coat—about injustice, police brutality, women, rape, race, and violence. She makes you feel it.

The audience included people who had read dozens of her novels through the years; some of them arrived carrying well-read and well-loved hard covers and paperbacks. In spreading word about the event, we met people eager to talk about the art, depth, and breadth of her writing, what it had meant to them, and why they anticipated each new work.

Oates was one of the first to send a statement of support for RB last fall, when it came under attack by fascists: “It is outrageous that Revolution Books is being targeted by right-wing / fascist/ T***p-supporters. We in the Berkeley community & throughout the country are solidly on your side, & applaud your courage, tenacity, & determination. #ResistPersist.” Oates recently participated in the bookstore’s event honoring the writers from “shithole” countries, reading a poem by Jamaica Kincaid. And after the last fascist attack where a man threatened to burn down Revolution Books, she made time to come for a reading.

A Book of American Martyrs

Introducing her reading, Oates said that she is often accused of having a “dark, exaggerated vision,” and when she set out to write A Book of American Martyrs she had not anticipated the atmosphere it would be released into—“that things would be so virulent” as they are now under Trump. The novel is an account of a premeditated murder of an abortion doctor and the ripple effect and social ramifications of this terrible act, explored through time and the lives of members of the families both of the murdered and of the murderer. The murdered abortion doctor is drawn from a composite of “heroic, extraordinary people.” His family disintegrates after the murder and struggles with feelings of revenge. The novel also goes deeply into the situation, lives, and thoughts of the family of the murderer. Oates said she conducted interviews and did the research to delve deeply into characters who are a part of the anti-abortion movement. These characters, too, come to life in the book.

For her second reading selection, Oates read a passage from “Fractal,” which appears in a new collection of short stories: Beautiful Days. “You all know what fractals are, sort of?” “Fractal” is in the genre of speculative fiction; the characters are realistic, the context, fantastic. In it, Oates explores the choices people make, must make, at every turn of their lives, consciously and unconsciously. The story begins with an interesting exchange between a mother and her precocious son about determinism, where he argues with certainty that there is only one possible outcome, and that where we are now is proof of this. She is doubtful but cannot articulate her thoughts. The story wrestles with these questions in surprising ways.

Oates writes, among other questions, about the violence in American society. In her work, the violence she depicts is not gratuitous, but is meant to vividly confront the reader with a society full of injustice. During the event, she spoke about the hope she feels about the possibility of a “new generation that doesn’t comply or acquiesce to act within the bounds of what you are supposed or expected to do.”

After the reading and discussion, people stayed to get their books signed, to talk with each other and learn more about the mission of Revolution Books. Many expressed their support for Revolution Books in the face of the fascist attacks.

 

 


 

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Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

Mothers Who Lost Children At the Hands of the Police #STAND For Justice in DC!

by Carl Dix

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

A rally at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, brought together mothers, other relatives of people whose lives had been stolen by murdering pigs, and supporters on Thursday, May 10. Called by the Truth, Hope and Justice Initiative, it drew together 200 people. Many were family members of those stolen lives, and they came to DC from all across the country. The people memorialized at this rally were mostly Black or Brown people. One of the killings had happened from as far back as 1968, and the most recent killing had happened earlier in May of 2018.

Mother after mother, joined by a couple of fathers and a few other relatives, spoke of how murdering cops killed their children; how prosecutors, courts and the whole criminal “injustice” system exonerated these murdering pigs; and about their determination to fight for justice for their loved ones and for all victims of police terror.

Monteria Robinson spoke of how the U.S. Marshals who gunned down her son, Jamarion, in Atlanta on August 6, 2016, had broken down the door to his girlfriend’s house and shot him 76 times. Yes, 76 bullets were fired into his body. Forensics evidence indicated that the last two shots were fired at close range by someone standing over Jamarion’s body!

Latoya Howell told of how police shot her son, Justus, in the back on April 4, 2015 as he ran from them in Zion, Illinois. The day after the shooting police returned to the scene and “recovered” what they said was the gun Justus pointed at them just before they gunned him down, a gun they were unable to find the day they shot him.

Gloria Pinex spoke of how Chicago police murdered her son Darius on January 11, 2011, after they stopped him, claiming that his car fit the description of a vehicle involved in a crime. Five years later it was exposed that the pigs who killed Darius had no description of a car involved in a crime AND that the authorities knew this as they exonerated these murderers again and again as the family fought for justice.

Veda Washington spoke of how two Baton Rouge, Louisiana, cops who had tormented her nephew, Alton Sterling, beat him and shot him dead on July 5, 2016, in a case where the video of the killing went viral and sparked nationwide protest.

Hawa Bah spoke of how on September 25, 2012, she called 911 because her son Mohamed, was acting erratically, and instead of an ambulance to take him to the hospital, cops showed up. These cops refused to let Mrs. Bah speak to her son, broke down the door to his apartment and shot him seven times. Forensics evidence indicated that the seventh shot was fired by someone standing over him as he lay on the floor!

Lisa Finch spoke of how her son, Andrew, was shot on December 29, 2017, by police in Wichita, Kansas, when he went out on the porch of his family’s house to find out why a dozen police cars were on their block. The police were responding to a false report of a killing and hostage situation at her home. (Phoning in such false reports to the police is called “swatting.”) The police took Lisa’s family into custody and searched their house while leaving Andrew to die.

These were only a few of the dozens of mothers and other family members of people whose lives had been stolen by law enforcement. Hearing all these stories, and hearing that in every case the murdering pigs had walked free, was like getting punched in the gut. This kind of suffering is intolerable. It shouldn’t be happening! And the reality that the suffering this had caused for so many people tore at my heart strings because it is completely unnecessary!

The horror of police getting away with murdering people, like the attacks on immigrants, the devastation of the environment, the degradation women suffer, all the other horrors people are forced to endure continue to happen because they’re built into the very fabric of the capitalist-imperialist system we live under. We should live in a world where those entrusted with public security would sooner lose their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person. The truth is that it will take an actual revolution, one that overthrows this capitalist system, that meets and defeats its institutions of violent suppression, to bring that kind of world into being.

This kind of revolution is not only needed. It’s possible. We’ve got the leadership for it in Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP, a man who has developed a new framework for making revolution and who is the architect of a new communism. He has led in developing a strategy for how we could get organized and be in a position to lead millions—to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being.

And he has authored a vision of the kind of world this revolution could bring into being in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

I addressed ALL THIS when I spoke at the rally right after the family members had told their stories. And I called on the people there to enlist in this revolution, to read the strategy for the revolution―we had distributed copies of HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW) to just about everyone at the rally. And I called on people to get acquainted with the work of BA, telling them a great way to start doing that was to watch the film, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible.

As the rally ended, a few of us stressed with everyone we could talk to that they really needed to watch the film, to spread the word about it and HWCW when they got back to their areas. And we got as much contact info as we could so that we could get feedback from people on the film and HWCW and could work to get them enlisted in the movement for an actual revolution.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/film-showing-and-discussion-UCLA-May24-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 

The screening of this hour-long talk from Bob Avakian will be followed by a panel discussion with:

Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, NYC, co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org
Juan Gómez-Quiñones, Professor of History, UCLA, and others to be announced

How serious a threat does the Trump/Pence regime pose to humanity? Could fascism really happen here?

What is the character of the regime—is it fascist, and if it is, what are the implications?

What are the roots of this regime? Is it a terrible aberration, "more of the same'' ... or something quite different still?

What must be done to stop it? How?

Is a better world possible?

 

This event is co-sponsored by The Bob Avakian Institute, Juan Gómez-Quiñones (Professor of History, UCLA), Bryonn Bain (Artist and Assistant Professor in Residence, African American Studies/World Arts & Cultures, UCLA), Dr. Reynaldo F. Macías (Chicana/o Studies, Education and Applied Linguistics, Affiliated Faculty in Afro-American Studies and in Civic Engagement, UCLA), Perry Hoberman (Associate Research Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts), Art and Activist Alliance at UCLA, Revolution Club at UCLA, and Refuse Fascism, Los Angeles.

For more information: TheBobAvakianlnstitute.org

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/awtwns-CPI-May1-statement-communist-revolution-nothing-less-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

Communist revolution and nothing less!
Statement by the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) on the Occasion of May First, International Working Class Day

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

14 May 2018. A World to Win News Service. The Farsi original of the following statement by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) is available on www.cpimlm.com.

May First this year comes at a time when Iran and the world are on the threshold of unprecedented events and upheavals. A situation is developing that holds great dangers for the majority of the people in Iran and globally. But within this same situation reside important opportunities to be seized for radical change in Iran, the Middle East and around the world, opportunities to advance, through tremendous sacrifice and struggles by the masses of people, under the leadership of communists, towards emancipation, to beat back the reactionary states and imperialist powers in many countries, dealing blows and defeating them, advancing by leaps and bounds, thus bringing into being a new day in the world when new communist revolutions would prevail and new socialist states be established in different corners of the globe. Only by recognizing these opportunities and actualizing them can we confront the massive dangers ahead.

Through its everyday functioning the capitalist-imperialist system hurls more people into misery and terror. The number of people afflicted by hunger and war is rising, global warming continues, and the world constantly faces the terrible threat of the outbreak of new wars and new rounds of mass slaughter. In the United States, the Trump/Pence regime is upending bourgeois democracy and establishing a Christian fascist regime instead. If this regime manages to consolidate itself, it will impose a world on people that is more racist, more misogynist and poorer, and it will intensify destructive wars and the destruction of the environment. Even before the ascent of the Trump/Pence regime, the workings of the global capitalist system and the policies of various imperialist powers, including U.S. imperialism, had already turned the Middle East into a battlefield between Islamist warlords, the reactionary states of the region and imperialist armies. But under the rule of the Trump regime, the situation in the Middle East will become even more intense. Economic and political rivalries among the imperialist powers (the United States, Russia, China, and the European Union) are intensifying. These rivalries have fanned the flames of proxy wars in places like Syria and made the situation there even more complex, with no end in sight. In the wars in Syria and Yemen, in addition to the imperialist powers, reactionary regional powers such as Iran, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and various Shiite and Sunni Islamist groups, are relentlessly slaughtering people and scorching their lands. The rise of a fascist regime in the United States has encouraged the growth of fascist political forces in Europe. In several European countries, including Germany, France, Poland, and Hungary, extreme right parties are expanding their power and influence.

The situation in Iran is not isolated from the international scene and in fact is principally shaped by international trends. The Islamic Republic’s political power has lost its coherence. Meanwhile, the regime is still feeling the aftershocks of the uprising of the poor in December 2017. Moreover, wave upon wave of protests, strikes and demonstrations—by the workers’ movement, teachers and pensioners, the Women of Revolution Square (as the young women who stood in Revolution Square and took off and waved their hijabs are called), Isfahan farmers (protesting water shortages) and people in Khuzestan (protesting against air pollution as well as the regime’s outrages against the Arab people in that province)—have confronted the regime with the real possibility of economic and social collapse and large mass movements and uprisings. The situation is so critical that a number of Islamic Republic high-ranking officials and security executives have openly expressed their fear that the regime may collapse or be overthrown, and their alarm at the lack of any clear view of what will happen in the course of this year. The Islamic Republic tried to remedy its economic and political crisis by entering into a nuclear deal with the imperialist powers. But this has failed to produce stability for the regime. John Bolton’s installment as the Trump/Pence regime’s National Security Adviser has not only opened a new chapter in efforts to squeeze the Islamic Republic, but also aims to further pull Iran into the quagmire of wars in the Middle East and even spread these wars to Iran itself.

The reactionary Islamic Republic of Iran regime claims that through its war crimes and criminal involvement in the Syrian war and its defense of the reactionary regime of Bashar al-Assad it has protected Iran from the conflicts in the Middle East. But what puts Iran at risk of becoming “Syrianized” is exactly the regime itself and the very system of the Islamic Republic. Its various military and security factions compete with each other over monopolizing territory, natural resources and high executive posts. At the same time, U.S. imperialism, by relying on its affiliated forces, is preparing “regime change” in Iran. Within the framework of this kind of tense situation, any eventful development—such as a direct military confrontation between the Islamic Republic and the United States, Israel or Saudi Arabia, or a coup attempt by any of the various factions in the Islamic Republic against the others, accompanied by the violent suppression of the people, with the aim of reconstituting a new hard core of power within the Islamic Republic—could open the door to a process similar to what has been going on in Syria and Libya in the past several years.

Let us prepare for big battles 

In this kind of charged situation, illusions and political ambiguity, inability to make a scientific analysis and failure to rise to the challenges of the time with a revolutionary line based on reality could lead to the destruction of the progressive forces and the erasing of previous revolutionary hard work. We have to analyse the situation as deeply as possible, grasp its exceptional character and recognize the possibility of dangerous shifts in the situation. The real disaster, the real meaning of the “Syrianization” of Iran, would be if the masses of people were to come into the streets and rise up against their conditions of oppression and exploitation, but the effective actors on the scene were various reactionary forces coming from inside and outside the Islamic Republic regime. 

The latter aspect of the situation has to be changed immediately. This is the political necessity the current situation presents. To be in a position to deal with the great dangers looming, our task is to open a radically different path in front of the masses—a path whose economic, political, social and cultural objectives and framework are determined by an actual communist revolution, and attract significant numbers of masses to this path from amongst those who have joined different sites of struggle and resistance against the Islamic Republic. 

In 2017, hundreds of outbreaks of protests, strikes, rallies and labour demonstrations (900 according to some estimates) took place in various Iranian cities and regions. This shows both the severity of the state of affairs faced by the regime and the people’s potential for protest and struggle. But the scope and number of these struggles, their persistence, their courage, their initiative and their insistence on achieving their economic and other demands and rights are still far from what workers actually need.

The dire political and economic conditions in Iran, the Middle East region and around the world are not going to improve through mere economic improvement and job creation in this or that branch of industry or by the victory of some people in recovering their bank deposits. The crisis of poverty and unemployment will continue in various forms, and every day more and more people worldwide will be dragged into hunger and misery, even if “me” or “my family” and “my country” might be temporarily secured against the system’s direct and indirect assaults. The struggle against the upcoming devastating storms cannot be won with a short-sighted vision of the interests involved or the identity politics of a section of society (like the women’s movement or the movements of oppressed nations, etc., each separately fighting for their rights). The exploitation and oppression dished out by the capitalist system is a universal and global phenomenon, and the solution is a single solution that has to be fought for on various battlefronts, all serving that single real, comprehensive solution.

One important battlefront in our struggle to overthrow the Islamic Republic regime and open the road to communist revolution in Iran is the anti-imperialist struggle. Today, this anti-imperialist struggle should be focused in particular on supporting the widespread anti-fascist movement in the United States initiated by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (revcom.us) with the slogan “In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America” (refusefascism.org).

What kind of revolution? What kind of leadership?

The situation is very fluid and unpredictable, but a scientific understanding of “what is the problem” would tell us with great certainty that “communist revolution is the only way out.” We communists represent the interests of all humanity, and this is what we fight for. We will wage our battle to radically change the world on the basis of the science of communism and not on the basis of some bourgeois-democratic notions and illusions. By communist revolution and the science of communism we mean what has been put forward and forged by Bob Avakian in the New Communism, and not different narratives of communism or notions under the name of communism. 

Today, in order to prepare for such a revolution in Iran, nothing is more important than to bring this emancipatory science of the New Communism and our party’s road map for making this a real revolution in Iran to large sections of militant workers, rebellious women, people of the oppressed nations (Kurds, Arabs, Balochs, Turks, Afghans, Turkmen, etc.). Without this and without continuously increasing the number of communists, we will not be able to build the leadership of the communist revolution and its backbone.

The most important mass campaign on the agenda for revolutionary communists is the campaign to raise widespread awareness of the New Communism and communist revolution in Iran. In order to carry this out, we should carry out society-wide agitation and propaganda around the New Synthesis of Communism and the works of Bob Avakian (in particular the book The New Communism) as well as the basic documents of our party, such as the Manifesto and Programme for Communist Revolution in Iran (published in February 2018) and also the Draft Constitution of The New Socialist Republic of Iran (forthcoming). We need the advanced people and a new generation of communists to commit themselves to this science so as to understand the situation and change the conditions through hard work and efforts based on the strategic goal of communist revolution.

We should put these questions to the conscious activists and those in the forefront of the workers’ movement today: what is the place of “Workers of the world unite!” in your current struggles? And would the problem of the working class be solved with anything less than this kind of revolution and this kind of internationalist vision? What is the meaning of proletarian internationalism regarding the Afghan workers who are trapped in the lowest and most oppressed rungs of the working class in Iran, and where is proletarian internationalism in this regard in the current struggles of the workers? What position should workers in struggle take regarding the oppression of women under this regime generally as well as the conditions of women proletarians and their super-exploitation? How do they see the relationship between the lack of rights and the starvation of workers and their families in Iran and the crimes that the Iranian regime is committing in Iraq and Syria? How are all these related to the rapidly accelerating water shortage and environmental destruction and the suppression of political dissent by the regime? 

Here the point is not to underline the fact that this kind of awareness and discussion must be taken to different social movements such as the labour movement and the women’s movement or other areas of struggle in the society. It is obvious that we should do that. The fundamental point here is that in order to face the extraordinary situation arising out of the intensification of the internal and international contradictions, we must strengthen and develop the communist leadership and backbone for leading the revolution before the situation reaches the point of exploding. Even to those who are not communist and are fighting against the capitalist system with a goal short of communist revolution, we should say that the only way out of the upcoming storms and maelstrom is to fight for the kind of society that our party has envisioned and take up the road map that the party has put forward.

More than a hundred years ago, on the eve of the First World War, Lenin wrote:

“An oppressed class which does not strive to learn to use arms, to acquire arms, only deserves to be treated like slaves… in every class society, whether based on slavery, serfdom, or, as at present, on wage-labour, the oppressor class is always armed… Our slogan must be: arming of the proletariat to defeat, expropriate and disarm the bourgeoisie.”

To give any other meaning to May First is to elude the reality and run away from the necessity of the revolutionary transformation of the current circumstances. The following statement by Bob Avakian is a basic principle of the proletarian revolution:

“We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t unite with people in all sorts of struggles short of a revolution. We definitely need to do that. But the proffering of any other solution to these monumental and monstrous problems and outrages is ridiculous, frankly.”

The future belongs to those who dare to take big leaps forward for emancipation!

Long live revolution, long live communism!

Fight to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran and establish the New Socialist Republic in Iran!

 

On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/US-Israeli-massacre-palestinians-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

U.S.-Israeli Massacre Kills 60 Palestinians and Wounds Over 2,700
Everyone Must Stand Up and Protest Against These Crimes Against Humanity!

May 14, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Updated May 15, 2018

Israel carried out a horrific, bloodthirsty massacre on Monday, May 14, murdering at least 60 Palestinians—including an 8-month-old baby killed by tear gas—and wounding more than 2,700 at the border with Gaza. More Palestinian protesters were killed on this single day by the Israeli troops than in the seven previous weeks of protests at the Israel-Gaza border.

Israel's bloodthirsty massacre on May 14 killed at least 60 Palestinians, and wounded more than 2,700 at the border with Gaza. Here, Palestinian protesters carry an injured man shot by Israeli troops.  (Photo: AP)

 

Who are these people who are being so viciously mowed down by killers armed with deadly weapons? These are human beings who have been locked down, for decades, in the open-air prison known as the Gaza Strip—caged in and even taunted by a wealthy, powerful state that is literally sitting on land that was unjustly stolen from them when that state was founded through a war of ethnic cleansing. People who are denied the ability to travel outside this prison to see relatives, pursue their studies and careers, participate in academic exchange programs. Humans who are under a sadistic blockade that is choking the life out of them. This means food shortages that hit especially the children hardest... electricity for only three hours a day... lack of drugs and medical resources that turn routine problems into life-threatening dangers... and much more. Well over two million people confined under these hellish conditions to just about 145 square miles.

These are the people who, for the last seven weeks, have been carrying out a courageous “Great March of Return”—going right up to the heavily militarized “border” (in reality, prison barbed wire) and demanding the right of return to the land stolen from Palestinians upon Israel’s establishment and an end to the life-crushing blockade. These are the people who were so ruthlessly murdered and seriously injured by the Israeli military—one of the most deadly high-tech armies in the world, thanks to billions in American aid—committing what one Amnesty International official said were “willful killings constituting war crimes.”

These Palestinians facing genocidal assaults are among the billions of victims worldwide of the system of capitalism-imperialism, and of U.S. imperialism in particular. Their lives—and now their deaths—cry out against that system, and underscore the need to overthrow that system.

We can see in these protests in Gaza the heroism of people willing to sacrifice their lives for justice—this is something that all oppressed people are capable of in certain conditions. But when oppressed people do rise up, they must not be left without a leadership that has a correct understanding of the enemy, a goal and vision that will TRULY eliminate the problem, and an organization that can be the backbone of the actual revolution that is so badly needed, to emancipate all of humanity. People who grasp that need to support these struggles and to get with the movement for revolution and get into Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution and, beyond that, the architect of a whole new communism.

~~~~~~~~~~

May 14 is the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba—the “catastrophe” when 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their towns and villages by Zionist terror. In defiance of Israel’s reactionary violence, tens of thousands of Palestinians approached the border fence in protest. Journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who was at the biggest protest site near Gaza City, described what he witnessed:

“There are thousands of people converging on the site—men, women and children. And it’s a really surreal scene. There are people gathering, mostly young men and boys, up near the border, where there is barbed wire, three sets of barbed wire. And you can see, just a couple of hundred yards away, Israeli soldiers, you know, under these canopies, on mounds of sand, sometimes in jeeps, and they are picking people off with—snipers are literally picking people off. I’ve seen people who weren’t even close to the fence being shot. Most of the people are being shot in the lower extremities, in their legs. I saw one person shot in the throat...

“And what most people are doing, it’s just the very act of walking to the border. Some people go and place the Palestinian flag on the barbed wire. Some people do go and cut the wire and try and cross, saying that they are implementing the right of return themselves. But it’s also a way—you know, we have to remember that people are trapped in Gaza. There’s really no way out. Many people have never left the Strip, because all border crossings are closed to them, and they’re not allowed to leave. And so this is a way of pushing their bodies up against their confinement.” (Democracy Now!, May 14)

All this bloodshed is openly supported by the rulers of the United States, who refused to even invoke some empty hypocritical words about urging “restraint” on Israel. The Trump/Pence White House blamed the protesters themselves for the massacre, pointing the finger at the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas. The current dominant political leadership in Gaza and in the West Bank do not represent the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people and a liberating way forward (for analysis of Hamas and the overall political dynamics in the Middle East, see previous coverage at revcom.us, including here). But the reality is that the wave of Palestinian protests is an expression of yearnings of many among the masses of Palestinian people for real emancipation and an end to the horrors that have been inflicted upon them over and over again for the last seven decades. What Israel and its U.S. backers are trying to do is to violently extinguish these hopes for liberation.

This is made very clear by the deliberate choice of the gangsters now at the helm of U.S. imperialism, the Trump/Pence fascist regime, to have the celebration of the transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14. This embassy move is a blatant, genocidal “fuck you” to the Palestinian people who have long and rightfully claimed Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. It is an open declaration that the U.S. is more blatantly abandoning any pretense it is a “neutral broker” and is more openly backing Israel in further stepping up the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. It is a move central to the agenda of the lunatic, end-times Armageddon-driven Christian fascists at the core of the Trump/Pence regime (see sidebar). At the same time, this embassy move—and what it means—is being hailed generally within the U.S. ruling class, including top Democratic leaders who crow that they are even more ardent supporters of Israel. The embassy move and Israel’s massacre today were concentrated expressions of the willingness and determination of the U.S. imperialists to carry out crimes on a massive scale, including perhaps war with Iran, to try and maintain their suffocating grip on the Middle East.

On May 14, as the Israeli troops were cold-bloodedly mass murdering Palestinians and maiming thousands of others, the U.S. godfathers and their Israeli assassins held their embassy opening ceremony just 50 miles away—complete with a video message from Trump declaring “The United States will always be a great friend of Israel” and two of the top Christian fascist evangelical figures flying in from the U.S. to give blessings. Behind all the pomp and smiles was the reality: these are blood-soaked ghouls and imperialist gangsters celebrating the hideous crimes they’ve committed—and renewing their pact to commit even greater crimes against humanity.

The whole made-in-hell-three-way marriage of Christian fascists, rabid Zionists, and “America First” global bullying is a product of and serves an empire built on slavery, genocide, vicious global exploitation and mass murder, torture, and countless unjust wars. This whole imperialist system needs to be overthrown through an actual revolution at the earliest possible time. If you are outraged by what is happening in Palestine—and the many other crimes of this system—you need to support and work toward that revolution. In particular, join with the Revolution Club in spreading the word of this revolution everywhere and in fighting the power and transforming the people FOR this revolution. And right now, as a crucial part of not only making that revolution but of uniting millions of people right now to defeat an attempt to plunge humanity into the even worse hell of American fascism, everyone urgently needs to join with Refuse Fascism to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime through massive nonviolent action.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/543/film-showing-killing-gaza-en.html

Revolution #543 May 14, 2018

 

May 15, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us